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Academic year 2008/2009

Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management Prepa MBA





E-mail :


“It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.” Napoleon Hill (American author, 1883-1970)



Preface As a career goal I would like to become a project manager in the business tourism industry, more specifically in the M.I.C.E field (meetings, incentives, congress and events). I have developed this goal, through my years of studies in tourism and throughout my different internships. During my studies, I have developed a professional interest in project management, that is why I have chosen as a theme for this research paper to present the concept of project management. My last 8 months internship at the head office of American Express Business Travel in the Groups and Events department, allowed me to develop my skills in project management, customer relationship, marketing, and communication. Indeed, as a assistant project manager I had for mission to manage and organize M.I.C.E projects, as well as additional projects: a marketing survey, prospecting customers, analysis of profits‌ I realized how project managers were dedicated to their work, how conducting a project required several skills (organization, tenacity, to be self involved, to be entrepreneur). I also realized that winning a project was not as easy at it seems, many problems can interfere (environment, misunderstandings, deadlines...) All those elements have lead me to the conditions of the reflection concerning project management, the reasons why projects fail and what solutions can be adopted to avoid failure. Hoping that this research report, will on one hand show my interest for project management, and on another hand, help the readers to better understand the concept of project management, its characteristics, stages, causes of failure and solutions. I wish you a good lecture. Camille IBARBOURE Student in MBA Hospitality and luxury brand management



Acknowledgment I would like to pay tribute to Mrs Charlotte Tequi, representative of American Express Business Travel Corporate Groups and Events department; for giving me the opportunity to work in her team, thanks to her guidance I have professionally grow and developed professional reflexes and skills. I would like also to thank as well the members of the Corporate Groups & Events team, that have given their cooperation, constant exchange of information, and gave me their passion for this job, throughout the duration of my internship. And especially to: -

Mrs Laurence Simonaggio, my intership supervisor who has assisted me in completing my assignments and though me valuable professional tactics and strategies.


Mrs GwĂŠnael Mulin, customer relationship manager for her guidance in sales and marketing strategies.


Finally Mr Faiz Mimita and Mr RĂŠmi Dandoli, M.I.C.E project managers who have collaborated with me on several projects and though me the way to manage an efficient and successful project.

Thank you also, to all the persons that I have encountered during my internship, that have shared with me their daily work.



Summary General Introduction……………………………………………………………………………...p6-7 Part I: Project management study of the concept………………………………………………..p8-31 1. What is a project?............................................................................................................p10-12 2. The characteristics of a project.......................................................................................p12-15 3. The actors/members of a project (project manager, sponsors, project team)…………p15-21 4. The project management life cycle.................................................................................p21-24 5. The tools used to conduct a project (budget, planning, reporting…).............................p25-30 Part II: Project management applied to the business tourism field……………………………p34-39 1. Analysis of the business travel field................................................................................p34-39 2. Project managers in the business travel industry............................................................p39-41 3. The characteristics of a business tourism project...........................................................p41-43 4. The process of conducting a business tourism project...................................................p43-46 5. The tools used by business tourism project managers....................................................p46-50 Part III: Analysis of projects causes of failure and the solutions………………………………p52-66 1. The inefficient management of the initiation stage of a project....................................p54-55 2. Getting to fast into the execution stage of a project......................................................p55-57 3. Time management: project managers obsession............................................................p57-58 4. Project team coordination..............................................................................................p59-61 5. Sticking to the budget: is that possible? .......................................................................p61-62 6. Software at the service of project success.....................................................................p63-64 7. My personal recommendations.......................................................................................p64-65 Part IV: Case study of 2 business tourism projects…………………………………………….p67-70 1. First case : Incentive in Paris- Analysis of the causes of failure of the project……......p68-87 2. Second case : Seminar in Paris: analysis of the success of the project……………….p88-104 General Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………....p105 BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………………....p106



General Introduction Anyone can drive a car but not everyone can be a Formule 1 racer. It is the same for project management Anyone can manage a project in their daily life, but not everyone can be an expert in project management. Several skills are required to be an expert or professional in project management. It is necessary to know the vocabulary of project management. A project is initiate, planned, executed, and evaluated. All those stages have their own specificities and characteristics. Each stage has to be well defined, managed and controlled

by the project

manager. The knowledge of project management is essential, especially according to the fact that most projects fail. Indeed, the Harvard Business School review of 20031: “Why projects fail anyway” testifies that: “Big projects fail at an astonishing rate--more than half the time, by some estimates”. Through my professional experience as junior project manager in the business tourism field, I have found that some projects were unsuccessful, mostly because projects were not made in on time or on budget, because the scope was not well defined… As a consequence to those facts we could wonder: “Project Management failure: factors of performance and success to win a project (application to business tourism projects: meetings, incentives, congress and events). My research paper will focus on the causes of projects’ failure, the problems that project managers have to deal with, the solutions that can be applied to avoid failure, and how does project management fits to the business tourism field. Through this research many questions will raise as for example: what are the characteristics of a project? What defines a good project? How to manage the risks? What are the mistakes to avoid during the different stages of a project? 1




The objectives of this research are also multiple. First of all, I wish that the readers understand the concept of project management, and second of all show a methodology of how to conduct a successful project. That is why, the first part of my report will be a theoretical analysis of the concept: project management, including its definition, characteristics, its different stages, its tools‌ The second part, will be conducted to apply the concept of project management to the business tourism field. This part will show the relationship/ the link between the theoretical concept and a real professional sector. The third part will get deeper into the research paper question by analyzing the reasons of projects’ failure and the solutions that can be applied. Finally the fourth part, will present 2 case studies, of real business travel projects that I have conducted during my 8 months internship at American Express Business Travel. One case will study a project that has been unsuccessful and the second case on the contrary will focus on the success of a project.






Introduction Part I: A project is a concept as old as the world. Some even claim that the project manager job could be one of the oldest in the world. Many examples can be mentioned in history, whether in the field of architecture (pyramids, cathedrals, fortifications ...), discovery (Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus) or event (the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, the Carnival of Venice ...). In all those examples, a personal or common need existed. An objective or goal was defined. Financial resources, humans and materials were gathered. An specific organization is established to satisfy the need. Over the past 25 years, probably because of the environmental changes (globalization, competition ...) more and more companies from all economic sectors have searched ways to better manage their operations technically, financially and temporally. As a consequence, they turned to the project concept. Therefore the job: project manager has become key in all sectors of the economy: financial, industrial, military, tourism and communication. This fist part, will study the concept of project management: its definition, its characteristics, its actors… Thanks to this first part, that will clarify the “project management” concept, we will be able to understand and analyze the causes of projects’ failure and the solutions that can be adopted.



1. What is a project? 1.1 The different meanings of the word project The origin of the word project is Latin.2 It comes from the verb "projectare" which means "throw forward" which is translated into French by “projet”. The project is then something that is “thrown forward”, with a certain reference to the future. Through my research I have stated 2 major types of definitions that cover both the Latin and Anglo Saxon meaning of the word project: The Latin meaning: In all the dictionaries, the definitions of “project” are very different. I would recommend the definition of the French dictionary the Robert3: “a project is the representation of something, a state, a situation that we intend to reach. Synonyms: purpose, intent, plan, resolution ...” We can note that the Latin meaning of the word project is attached to the need to satisfy a certain need. However this definition does not put any emphasis on an action to reach the need. The Anglo Saxon meaning: The Anglo Saxon definition of the word project does not cover the same meaning as "project" in Latin. When we speak of the intention to do something, for example: going on holiday in Spain, the Anglo Saxons use the word and the verb "to plan". They use the term project to define all of what must be done, the implementation of all actions, tickets, booking the hotel ... leading to the result. The Anglo Saxon meaning defines the path and actions to achieve the project.

1.2 The “management” definition of the word project The Project Management dictionary, 4th edition (AFITEP 4) published by AFNOR defines a project as: “a set of measures to be implemented to achieve a defined objective, within a specific mission."


Source: French dictionary the Robert 4 Book AFITEP: Le management de projet, principes et pratiques AFNOR gestion 1998 3



1.3 The creation of a project always comes from a need5 The project process always emerges in order to satisfy a need. The project process can be divided into 3 major steps which start from a need and ending with the need satisfaction: - The first step can be referred to as the “initiation of the project” and consists in analyzing the need, searching for solutions in order to satisfy the need and determining the most appropriate solution based on the constraints. - The second refers to the execution of all the actions necessary to reach the need satisfaction. - Finally, the third step consists in assessing the project outcome and evaluating the need satisfaction.

The project process can be presented as follows. It can cover all types of projects.

Project execution •Birth of a need

•The result •Creation of an action plan

Analyzing the need Searching for solutions to satisfy the need

Need satisfaction

1.4 Project and project management What is management? Generally, management is the set of tasks to conduct any operation successfully. As part of a project, project management includes all the tasks of leadership, management, control, steering either provided by one or more persons. More clearly, project management is the discipline of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.


Source: Book Manager tous vos projets, Christian Rabaté, édition Eyrolles



2. The characteristics of a project To be eligible a project must meet at least the following characteristics:  The beginning and the end of the project must be well identified  A project is unique  A project is complex  A project should be planned for a client/sponsor  A project needs a temporary organization  A project has a unique language understood by all the project’s stakeholders  A project must be won before it begins

2.1 A project must have a beginning and an end It is essential in a project which we want to carry out to know from where to start and where to end. If within a company, the word project is used to carry out certain operations, it is because we hope to find a benefit such as for example having the best controls costs, to improve performances in order to reach out an expected result. In other words, the concept of beginning and end of a project is fundamental to be able to organize the work to the reach an objective. In the Project Management Dictionary, 6it is mentioned milestones of beginning and end. A milestone is a physical element impossible to circumvent: it is done or it is not done. As an example: - A physical beginning milestone of a project: can be the acceptance of the project by the project manager. It can be also the entry into force of a contract. - A physical end milestone of a project: can be the client’s reception of the work/project accomplished, or the payment of the last invoice corresponding to the balance payment.

2.2 A project must be complex 6

Book AFITEP: Le management de projet, principes et pratiques AFNOR gestion 1998



A project can be technically simple or complicated. The complexity of the project states in fact in the number of actors involved in the project. Indeed, generally a project uses human resources, skills that are not necessarily under the same authority that is the reason why the project manager will have to coordinate the actions of the stakeholders that will contribute on achieving a project. The complexity of the project lies then in the fact that the actors of the project have to work together: have the same objectives/goals, work in team, have the same vision, and meet the deadlines… This effect is always disruptive and has to be resolved by management. 2.3

A project is unique

A project is always unique and specific; therefore the way to manage a project is always different each time. Of course, some projects may look alike; the goal may be the same as the result. But from the passage from the goal to the result, there are always differences more or less important, either in the details or in the environment. It is those differences that makes a project unique and prevents each time to reproduce the same work done. 2.4

A project should be planned for a client/sponsor

A project should be accomplished for a client who is called in the case of project management: the sponsor. The sponsor will judge the success and shape of the project. In most cases particularly in the area of services the sponsor is external to the company. However the sponsor may be internal to the company for example the need for a project may come from the executive committee. 2.5

A project needs a temporary organization

The creation of a project team is in most cases temporary. The team will only exist during the time of the project. Indeed, a project requires the skills of different people. The members of the project team can be internal or external to a company. The project manager during the initiation stage of the project has for mission to assemble a successful team where everyone has a clear role. To be efficient, a project team should tend towards an ad hoc organization. Ad hoc 7is the Latin sentence which means “for this purpose”. More specifically, an ad hoc organization means that the members of the team have specific and well defined goals, which will be common to each member.





Ad hoc organization is used on a temporary basis which corresponds to the characteristic of a project team. 2.6

A project has a unique language understood by all the project’s stakeholders

Because a project has for characteristic to gather different actors: the sponsor, project manager and project team, it is essential that all of those project’s actors knows how to communication and understand each other, and therefore share a common language. If not the projects are usually doomed to failure. There are several ways to generate this common language: - Develop a glossary for all the projects - Under the contract with the sponsor in the contract a glossary - Use a repository of project management, such as those of the PMI 8(Project Management Institute) - Use of Dictionary terms of project management of the Francophone Association project management.

Here under is the company glossary of American Express Business Travel used for project management:



Document de mise en concurrence permettant aux entreprises de faire un choix équilibré entre les coûts complets d’une prestation et les services que peuvent apporter les prestataires


As Son As Possible = dès que possible


Bank Sottement Plan = Organisme international de compensation entre les compagnies aériennes membres de IATA


Business Travail Accourt = Compte carte voyages d’affaires - voir « carte logée »


Business Travail Center – voir « Plateaux d’Affaires »


Centralisation des commandes et factures d’un client multi sites sur un seul



PROJECT MANAGEMENT point de vente. Emission sur des sites de proximité définis. CGM

Customer General Manager = Responsable de clientèle


Un billet électronique est un mode d’émission qui permet au client de voyager sans billet papier


For Youri Information


Global Customer Service Issues


General Manager (Directeur de région par pays)


Global Supplier Relations


Relais formateur, conseillers voyages habilités à dispenser les formations techniques délivrées aux collaborateurs sur site.


Line Of Business


Membership Travel Service = Service de réservation de voyages par téléphone, exclusivement réservé aux titulaires de carte American Express


Politique Voyages Entreprise




A project must be won before it begins

It is during the initiation stage that the project must be won. It is important, even essential during this phase to understand the project objectives and the needs of the project’s sponsor. If the needs are not clearly identified the project is often lost. 3. The Actors/members of a project 3.1 The sponsor/client "Sponsorship is not a spectator sport," says Gopal Kapur, president of the Center for Project Management. All projects have sponsors – they are the ones to initiate a project. They can be internal or external to a company. During the project process the project manager will have to understand the needs and objectives of the sponsors. He will also have to report to the sponsor the solutions for the success of the project and give to the sponsor the results of the project. If the project manager has many mission to satisfy the sponsor, the sponsor itself has his role/mission to play also in the project process: 15


The sponsor roles and responsibilities are the following:  Making sure the project manager and the team have the skills necessary to manage the project  Providing guidance for key business strategies  Understanding the project's complexity  Empowering the project manager  Championing the project and the team  Formally managing the project's scope  Approving plans, schedules and budgets  Ensuring time availability and resources  Reviewing the project's progress  Ensuring that the project benefits are realized 3.2 The project manager 9 By definition, a project manager


is a professional in the field of project management. In short

words a project manager have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project. We can note that the French term to name a project manager is “chef de projet” which can be translated in English by: project leader. The English term is clearer about the role and quality of a project manager, because it includes the word management (“manager”). Indeed, the project manager has to manage the project from the beginning to the end; it is by definition, his role/responsibility. But that doesn’t tell us, what are clearly in a more large scope the responsibilities of a project manager and the qualities that a project manager must have to conduct a project successfully. a) Project manager role and responsibilities Of course, the main responsibility of a project manager is to manage a project successfully. But the role of the project manager encompasses many activities. Here under are some of the responsibilities that the project manager has to accouter:


Source: Book Le chef de projet paresseux…mais gagnant, Briner Wendy, Geddes Michael, Afnor gestion 1993 Source : Wikipedia’s definition of project manager




Planning and defining the scope: This is the degree to which the project manager analyses the needs of the sponsor, defines the scope and personally plans the project. Securing resources and fashion into a team: the project manager shapes a team which will be necessary to conduct the project and identifies the resources needed to accomplish the project. Designing project control mechanism: this covers control change, manage risks… As seen, a project has for characteristic to be unique, which means that every project is different; the project manager will need to design control and reporting mechanisms that suit the project. Manage and report progress: the project manager has for role to report all the progresses of the project. We will have to control; track down the progress of the project or the obstacles encountered during the duration of the project. Be accountable for quality: The project manager's appraisal should depend not only upon meeting dates and budgets but also upon the quality of what is delivered. Managing Risks and Issues: During a project, many problems have to be solved. Before those problems or obstacles appear, the project manager should analyze the risks and issues that we will accouter and find solution in advance to solve them. b) The qualities of a project manager What qualities are most important to become a good project manger? Here under are some of the characteristics and qualities a project manager should have to be efficient: 

A project manager is a visionary

An effective project manager is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. Indeed, a

Source :

successful project manager is the one who has to envision the entire project from the start to the end, and have the prowess to realize this vision. More than a visionary a project manager has to be a “visionary leader”. Indeed, it is the project manager who leads a team though out a project, he has to set the goals and share them to his team. Visionary leaders have to enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project.



A good project manager must know how to empower his team.

The definition used by the Britannica Webster Dictionary for empowerment is as follows: “Empowerment is the process of enabling or authorizing an individual to think, behaves, take action, and control work and decision making in autonomous ways”. So in other words, a project manager empowers people to experience the vision on their own. According to Bennis11 "Project managers offer people opportunities to create their own vision, to explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and lives, and to envision their future as part of the vision for the organization." (Bennis, 1997). This process of empowerment is very important when conducting a project. Indeed, the success of a project relies on the experience and competencies of the different stakeholders or members of the team project. The project manager has for mission to set the goals/objectives and enables the team members to achieve their tasks. The project manager has for responsibility to make sure that the stakeholders are having the same vision. 

A project manager is a good communicator

Communication skill is a quality that project managers should not avoid. In fact, the ability to communicate with people at all levels is almost always named as the second most important skill by project managers and team members:

clear communication about goals, responsibility,

performance, expectations and feedback are some of the most relevant example of communication that the project manager must use. A project manager has also to negotiate with all the persons who are involved in a project (sponsor, team members, suppliers…) and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the project. Thanks to an effective communication, project manager supports individual and team achievements by creating explicit guidelines to accomplish results. More precisely, a good project manager to be efficient in communication should possess 3 qualities: -

Be assertive: What is to be assertive? That means to be able to say the right things at the right time, to know how to handle difficult situations and to reach the goals without manipulating or be aggressive with others


Be empathic: which means to be sincere with others, to show you are interested by what’s important to other people.


Bennis, W., 1997. "Learning to Lead," Addison-Wesley, MA




Have a congruent attitude: a perfect coherence between what a person says verbally and his body language.


Leadership competences

As a manager, a project manager needs to have leadership competences. Leadership competences do not however refer to the project leader's business technical abilities. Leadership competence refers more likely to the ability of the project manager to challenge, inspire, enable, model and encourage. Leadership competences are very important to become a project manager, because thanks to this competence, the project manager will be seen as capable and competent. 

Working under pressure

Project manager can be a very stressful job. A project manager has a lot of responsibilities when conducting a project; he is the key element that will allow the project to be efficient and successful. A project is never perfect: deadlines are difficult to respect, being under the budget is very rare and problems to overcome are practically casual. A project manager should not see problems as obstacles but as opportunity and a challenge. The common saying which tells that they are never problems but always solutions is really true for a project manager. If a person can stand pressure and dealing with difficulties and problems, then the job of project management is without any doubt, not meant for that person. "Out of the uncertainty and chaos of change, project manager rise up and articulate a new image of the future that pulls the project together." And remember - never let them see you sweat. (Bennis 1997). 

Tenacity despite failure

As mentioned in the introduction of this research paper, 1 out of 2 projects fail. It is a common state in project management. That is why; a project manager needs to keep his tenacity despite failure. c. Taking over the project by the project manager : the project summary sheet The project summary facilitates the approval of the need and the solution by the project manager.



For the project manager, project approval will result in the creation of a form of project launch this is called the summary sheet. This document aims to: - Make a project summary - Define the data set initiating stage of the project - Determine the characteristics of the project The project summary sheet is made to provide a clear understanding of the project. This document can be validated by the sponsor / client and be sent to the members of the team project. The project summary sheet contains the essential information of the project components, that is to say: - The needs of the customer / sponsor and the solution - The budget and the breakdown of major cost - An outline planning - The main risk Here under is a model for the project summary sheet:



3.3 The project team By definition, a project team is a team whose members usually belong to different groups/functions and are assigned for the same project. Usually, a project team as for specificity to be a: cross functional team, which means that the members of the organization are a group of people with different functional competences and expertise who work toward a common goal. It may for example include people from accounting, marketing, operations, and human resources departments. Typically, it includes employees from all levels of an organization. However members may also come from outside an organization, for example suppliers. We will see in the second part of the research paper, that for M.I.C.E (Meetings, Incentives, Congress and events) projects the team members of the project are most of the time external to the company. 4. The Project management life cycle12 The project management life cycle is a tool which permits to divide the different stages of a project. It contains 4 stages: initiation, planning, execution and closure. Here under is a detailed project management life cycle along with the tasks needed to complete it.

Project initiation

Project closure

Project Planning

Project execution


Source : Book Managez tous vos projets, Christian RabatĂŠ Groupe Eyrolles



a) The initiation stage : The initiation stage determines the objectives and scope of the project. This stage is definitively the most important one, because if this stage is not performed well, it will be unlikely that the project will be successful in meeting the business’s needs. The initiation stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas:  Analyzing the business needs/requirements of the sponsor  A first draft of the financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget to know whether the project can be feasible.  Stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project  Project charter including for example tasks, deliverables, and schedule, using the tool of the project summary sheet.  Undertake a feasibility analysis (costs, resources, materials, human resourcing, environment, laws restrictions…) As mentioned, the initiation stage should permits to understand the goals and objectives. The project manager could use at this stage the model of the project triangle which allows discussing resource constraints with a client, but it’s also a useful tool for helping the team. The project triangle composed by three peaks: - Technical performance - The cost of the project - The deadline for the project

The three vertices of the triangle are the expectations of the client/sponsor, and therefore represent a target. So, any management decision will affect the 3 peaks Depending on the project, one of the three peaks will be more important than the others. For example, if the project aims to organize a conference: the most important parameter is in this case the schedule.



b) The Project Planning stage At this stage, the project manager must list the activities, tasks and resources required to complete the project. Here under are the activities that the project manager usually uses in most cases:  Resource Plan : this plan is created to identify the physical resources required in order to conduct the project (materials, equipments) and schedules the resource utilization.  Financial Plan : this plan should out light the financial expenditure required to undertake the project. This plan will lead to the creation of the project’s budget.  Quality Plan : this activity describes the approach taken to ensure the quality of the deliverables. This may include a list of the quality criteria named standards to be achieved as well as the Quality Assurance.  Risk Plan : At this stage, the project manager should create a risk plan thanks to his observations in the initiation stage. He should well set the actions to undertake to secure the project from the impacts of the risks.  Acceptance Plan : Any stages of the project process must be accepted by all the actors of the project (sponsor and team project members). The project manager has to identify the criteria and standards for the acceptance of project deliverables by the customer.  Communications Plan : the project manager should plan an “information schedule” to be provided to all project stakeholders to keep them regularly informed of the progress of the project.

c) The execution stage. At this stage, the deliverables are physically (product of work done on a project) built and are presented to the sponsor for acceptance. By consequence, at this stage it is very important for the project manager to monitor and control all of the deliverables. Monitoring and Controlling includes:  Measuring the ongoing project activities (where we are?);  Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, scope....) and make sure that they correspond to the objectives and scope defined in the initiation stage. 23


 Identify corrective actions against issues and risks. Once all the deliverables have been produced and the customer has accepted the execution stage, the project is ready for closure. d) The closure stage The project Closure involves several actions as: giving the final project to the customer/sponsor, handing over project documentation to customer/sponsor, terminating supplier contracts, communicating project closure to all stakeholders, and the contract closure with the sponsor of the project. At the end of this stage, the project manager should evaluate the needs satisfaction and establish an evaluation report with all the methods used to accomplished the project, personal remarks about what should be improve and what was successfully accomplished for example : handling a problem during the project process… e) Summary chart of the different states and actions of the cycle life project


•Analyzing the business needs and scope •Undertake a feasability study •Appoint the project team •Set up a project charter


•create a communication plan •create a resource plan •create a financial plan •create a quality plan •create a risk plan •create a acceptance plan


•Build deliverables •Monitor and control (time management, cost management, quality management , risks...)


•Perform project closure •Evaluation of the project



5. The main tools to conduct a project Since the creation of the project management concept, various tools have been set up. Here under, are some examples of the may tools used today in a company:     

The request proposal Le planning The budget The reporting The evaluation project report

5.1 The request for proposal The request for proposal is the document created by the client/sponsor, which brings together the requirements and the elements necessary to determine the objectives and the main constraints to satisfy the need. In the case, of a client/sponsor external to a company, the request for proposal is often called a tender. The request for proposal is the baseline that will engage the project manager for all the actions that he will plan.

The request for proposal cannot be changed without a decision of the client or project sponsor: otherwise it will be subject to amendment taking into account the impact (financial / material) changes requested.



Example of request for proposal model:

o Projet :…. o



Project managé…


Date of validation…

o General data o



Environment contraints


Project objectives


Identification of the impacts and the risks


Criteria to determine the project’s ending/ the success criteria

o Technical data o

Description of the results to accomplish Description des résultats à obtenir




The process to set up

o Non technical data o



General Planning




The project organization


The required competencies





5.2 The planning In most cases, the sponsor/client of a project when handling a request proposal determines a dead line in which the final project must be delivered to him. A planning or time schedule must be then developed by the project manager to meet the deadline of the client. The planning is not only a calendar, it is a tool of communication, of analysis and decision making between project stakeholders. The planning must be built and approved by all team members of the project, on a project methodology. The planning must be detailed. Better the planning is detailed; better the objective to meet the deadline of the client will be respected. Here under is a model of detailed project planning:



5.3 The budget To lead a project to completion, a project manager needs human resources, material ... which can lead to financial resources. This cost must be funded either by the customer/sponsor equity or the company if the project is internal. So, the budget includes all resources needed for the project. It may be also, the number of hours of the staff and procurement of material / services. A budget may all contains a cost reserve that is called "Provisions for contingencies" used to cover overruns due to identified risks that occur during the project. The process of budgeting and cost management is critical, because it usually corresponds for the sponsor to an objective. 5.4 Reporting Each project stakeholders need a scoreboard to know at every moment the project progress/advancement. It is a tool of communication that the manager can use to make sure that all the












A good communication on a project is the key of success; the reporting should not be taken lightly. A good detailed reporting should answer the different criteria below: -

Be adapted and accepted by all the members of the project (sponsor, the project team members‌)


Be visually clear and synthetic


Be oriented towards “action�.


Should have a comparative part between the initial objectives and the results


Be informative concerning the decisions that have been made.



Here under is a model of a project 13reporting. This model could be also created on a excel sheet which will permit to integrate the project planning also.


Source :



5.5 The evaluation project report The evaluation project report is a document written by the project manager. The document goal is to give a feedback about the project experience. This document is compulsory; however it gives a learning opportunity for the company, and can be consulted for future projects. The capitalization of the learning experience should include the results of the project, an analysis of the successful factors and actions and an analysis of the dysfunctions accoutered. Model of an evaluation project report:

[Project Name] Project evaluation report Department:

Document Owner:

Focus Area:

Project or Organization Role:

Product or Process: Date:

Lessons learned purpose and objectives Throughout each project life cycle, lessons are learned and opportunities for improvement are discovered. As part of a continuous improvement process, documenting lessons learned helps the project team discover the root causes of problems that occurred and avoid those problems in later project stages or future projects.

Lessons learned questions 

What worked well—or didn’t work well—either for this project or for the project team?

What needs to be done over or differently?

What surprises did the team have to deal with?

What project circumstances were not anticipated?

Were the project goals attained? If not, what changes need to be made to meet goals in the future?



Transition: Thanks to the first part, we are able to identify the concept/nature of project management: its characteristics, actors, tools‌ The second part will study how can the project management concept can be applied to a field as such as the business tourism.






Introduction Part II: This second part will focus on the business tourism and the projects that are conducted in this particular sector. Business tourism field is an area where projects are handled all the time. Project manager is a key job when organizing whether a meeting, an incentive, a congress and an event. Why focusing on the business tourism field? Business tourism as known in those past few years an incredible growth and more and more corporate customers are interested into integrated business tourism in their communication strategies. Indeed, companies have understood that communication was a key element in their success. For example, motivating sales manager thanks to an incentive will allow a 10% growth of sales. This second part will enable to relate or link the theoretical project management concept that was analyzed in the first part, to business tourism industry.



1. Analysis of the business tourism field 1.1 Definition of business tourism Business tourism associates in one hand tourism, that is to say travel and consumption necessary for people traveling (accommodation, catering, hospitality, leisure and sometimes transfers ...) and on an other hand, a professional interest (business development, projects, negotiations, meetings of experts, studies, training, technical visits ...). More generally, we consider that business tourism includes individual or group professional travels whose length is at least 24 hours.

The market of business tourism can be divided into 4 sectors: - Congresses and business conventions, - Exhibitions and exhibitions, - Incentives, seminars and meetings, business - Business travel « Training, motivation and stimulation14”, are the 3 basis objectives of companies when they decide to have a business tourism policy. Since the beginning of the XXIth century, business tourism has known an incredible growth on the market place. Companies are more and more including business tourism in their communication strategy. ''For some companies, business tourism is an essential tool to inform and develop lasting relationships with their distribution networks''.15 1.2 The offer of the business tourism field As mentioned in the definition, business tourism has several components: congress and business conventions, exhibitions, incentives, seminars and business travel.

14 15

Marketing Magazine, n° 48, 2000, Tourisme d´affaires : du voyage à l´outil de communication 2

L’Evénementiel : n° 130 juin 2006 Page 8.



It is necessary to understand the business tourism offer to define more precisely what are the scope and goals of each of those components. . a) Congress and business conventions. The term "convention" is used today to point out a meeting that gathers people to exchange ideas, to study or to communicate company’s results. It is generally assumed that a congress is a meeting with a large number of participants that are members of a same company, association or federation, who are not necessarily from the same profession, which are grouped around a theme or common interest directly related to their activity in which they work in. In fact, the notion of Congress is multifaceted because it can concern different sponsors: - Local, regional, national or international - International oriented governmental or nongovernmental - Corporate or associations - Professional or ideas (political, religious, social ...) Conventions are very similar to congress; however it is important to differentiate them. Conventions are also a type of meeting largely organized by companies. The term "convention" 16targets all the meetings organized by companies. The specificity of a convention is that they are many different types of convention with different objectives: convention to launch a new product, strategic convention, or even road shows‌ In general, conventions are companies’ internal meetings which can be organized on a national or international scale, depending on the objectives shared by the company. The participations are limited to members of an organization and meet either all staff, either management or sales force. In fact, the use of this term has been restricted and is not used for internal meetings companies who periodically gather their employees.




b) Fairs and exhibitions ''In France, there are 300 exhibitions and fairs each year, with 80 000 exhibitors (including 25,000 foreigners) and 10 million visitors. Exhibitions and fairs represent 5% of investments in the French companies



To better understand the scope of the sector of fairs and exhibitions, it is necessary to focus primarily on the formal definitions of the Ordinance of 1 September 1945 which makes the organization





fairs number

and of

exhibitions regulations





administrative and


approval. the


Some of these events are not affected by this regulation: those are universal and international exhibitions governed by the Paris Convention of November 22, 1928, shows that are primarily devoted to cultural products and livestock, educational exhibits, scientific, and artistic events. In addition, French law currently allows these events to obtain under certain conditions, the recognition of their national interest (approval) or International (international certification). 

The fairs

The fairs are formed by the combination of regular exhibitors in order to present to professional buyers or the general public samples of products or services with the intention to make them known about the product/services qualities. The fairs have for particularity to be a event with a festive and entertaining atmosphere: "That's what makes the charm of the fairs. The visitors come primarily for family entertainment, taste and discover. It is a place of conviviality ... which promotes the act of purchase. " 

The exhibitions

When fairs are devoted more specifically to a given category of goods or a particular industry, they are called exhibitions. Exhibitions are aiming at a specialized sector, activity or even a group of business lines more precise. Some are open to the public but most are “specialized rooms” accessible only to professionals. Dedicated to a category of product or industry, exhibitions have for main goal to gather at the same time and same place, the offer and the demand of a same sector of activity.



c) Seminars and incentives 


Incentives are travels that are given to employees as a reward for outstanding performance. Incentives are aiming customers or employees of the company. An incentive must be a unique experience that the participants will not forget, the services must be original, high quality and unforgettable. Incentives are only leisure travel, and don’t include any work time. 


A seminar on an other hand has for principal to gather a working group in an enclosed place either inside the company or outdoors. A seminar targets mainly the employees of a company, but also customer relationship managers, or executive committees… A seminar may have several objectives more or less targeted depending on the case: information, training, research, creativity, stimulation... The specificity of the seminar is to be a meeting with at the same time a working objective but also in many cases a leisure part that has for objective to federate the members who are attending to the seminar. Some types of seminars are very close to incentives, because they combine relaxation, leisure and work. Example of a seminar17: Organization of a 10 days seminar for the company Ernst & Young in Budapest. The objective was to inform the junior managers of the company about the different technologies and techniques to be an efficient consultant. This seminar was at the same time organized with working time schedule: meeting every morning, and at the same time a leisure part: visit of the city of Budapest with each day a new theme (history, architecture, gastronomy, shopping…) d) Business travel Business












strictly business goal, such as a meeting in another city (meeting business partners or clients). Business travel only includes ways of transportation (airline, train booking) and accommodation reservation, unlike the other components which includes organization of meetings, leisure…


Book: Managez tous vos projets, Christian Rabaté



1.3 The actors of the business travel industry

a) Business Travel companies The business travel companies are the main actor in the industry of business tourism. Their primary mission is to assist companies in setting up, a real program to manage their business travel expenses. Business travel companies have generally M.I.C.E (Meetings, Incentives, Congress and Events) department which have for mission to answer to all the business tourism demands. Their mission is to organize and handle business tourism projects design in terms of logistic, transportation, accommodation, to control business tourism expenses controlling and offer an exclusive venue. The main business travel companies on the market place are: American Express Business Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

b) The event agencies More and more companies specialized in communication and events are enlarging their offer to business tourism. One of the most well known event companies in France is: Public System: founded in 1993, this agency is among the largest in the French market. In 2004, the company has made 64.3 million Euros turnover.

c) The hotels Most of the 4/5 stars hotels have now they own meeting rooms and even congress rooms. They have launched those past few years, special department dedicated to the organization of seminars, meetings, and conventions.

d) DMC (Destination Management Companies) A Destination Management Company (DMC) is a term for a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics. A DMC provides a ground service based on local knowledge of their given destinations. These services can be transportation, hotel accommodation, restaurants, activities, excursions, conference venues, themed events, gala dinners and logistics, as well as helping with overcoming language barriers.



1.4 Overview of the business tourism market In 2008, business travel’s customers/companies have spent an estimated total volume of 9.17 billion Euros, an estimated increase set at 1.4% compared to 2007. However the big question that the business tourism actors are trying to answer since the end of 2008 is of course: “What is the consequence of the financial crisis on the market place?” The financial crisis has caused negative impacts on the business since the last quarter of 2008, until today, probably until the 2nd quarter of 2010. As a consequence to the financial crisis, customers reported to 2010 their business tourism projects, made the choice to ask cheaper providers, organize lower distance projects (hence transportation costs) and reduce their demand to 3 star hotels instead of 4 star hotels Nevertheless, we must remember, that companies even in times of crisis, need to assemble their employees/teams, their resellers, and their customers. Seminars and conventions are by consequence difficult to avoid. This suggest that even in the business tourism industry have been stroked by the financial crisis, the business will not disappear. 2. Project managers in the business tourism industry A project manager in the business tourism field is the person who organizes and conducts all the different components of the sector: meetings, incentives, congress and events. More specifically he participates in the design, development and sale of the business tourism project and he it is main coordinator. 2.1 The qualities of a project manager in the business travel industry “An efficient project manager has to be well organized, knows how to deal with pressure, is a good communicator, has a will to win, is a good team leader and is committed and passionate for his work” quote by Laurence Simonaggio Team leader of the M.I.C.E department American Express Business Travel. 

To be passionate: Managing a business tourism project is not has simply has it seems. Organizing a congress, an incentive, a seminar… is hard work. A project manager is really dedicated to his client and has the objective to satisfy them. Working in a service environment is a risk by itself, managing humans is more difficult than having a project that concerns a product. That is why being passionate for this sector is a fundamental quality to be efficient. 39


To be well organized: In order to be successful in project management, a project manager needs to be able to keep track on multiple "things" (projects, people, reports, requirements, specs, etc.). To do this a project manager needs to be organized. In most cases business tourism managers have to manage not only one project but several projects at the same time. They have to know all the details, objectives, problems of each project. Be organized is somehow essential, if not the projects will not be able to manage in a proper way.

Be creative : what makes the specificity of a business tourism project is that it has to be original and attractive, especially when organizing an operation as an incentive.


incentive has to be unforgettable its participants. The project manager has than the mission to be creative and find activities or services that will be tailored and unforgettable. Also a project manager in that type of business has to be creative to be distinguished from its competitors. Indeed, they are many actors on the market place has mentioned earlier, the project manager will have then to propose project that are different and singular to attract a client. That is why; a project manager in the business tourism market has to be creative. 

Work under pressure: respecting the budget, the timing, deal with problems… all of this factors can cause stress for a project manager. If a person can’t stand working with stress than the job of project manager is not for him.

Communication skills: Communication is critical to project management and a skill that a successful project manager must mastered. It's important to note that communication doesn't mean "talking" or even "presenting." Communication is about transferring knowledge, sharing ideas, solving problems and providing new or updated information. If a project manager doesn’t communication with its client, suppliers or team the project has a great chance to be unsuccessful. 

Knows how to work in team: A project manager cannot handle a project by himself, he needs the expertise of other persons, for example concerning certain technical factors (sounds, lights in a meeting…). He needs than to work in team, and manage his team to reach the project’s goals.



2.2 The missions handled by a business tourism manager Here under are some of the missions that a project manager may handle during the organization of a business tourism project. 

Securing the feasibility of the operation

Presenting the project prepared to the client (strategy, creating - for the event - program information technical plans and budget)

Plan, implement and monitor the implementation of the operation,

Monitor compliance of the proposal with the strategic imperatives

To ensure co-insure or accompanying the client

Co-drafting the planning of actions

Prepare reporting to the client

Ensure adequate dissemination of information to the team dedicated to the operation and coordinate their work

Check the administrative monitoring of the project

Ensure the design of publishing documents (invitation, registration, program, ...)

Select suppliers and negotiate purchases

Designing the tool to ensure effective management of the participants / delegates

Develop and manage the catering, accommodation, transportation, transfers, cultural aspects and activities,

Establish the final technical paper "the conducteur"

Orchestrating the operation during its implementation

3. The characteristics of a business tourism project A business tourism project has the same characteristics, has seen in part one: temporary, unique, aimed at a client… However, depending on its activity, projects have what we could call specific characteristics that are corresponding to its nature. For example, an IT project will not have the same characteristics as a business tourism project. So the question is: what are the specific characteristics of a business travel projects to take into account? 41


As an answer, we can notice that they are 4 characteristics that occur to business tourism projects:  A business travel project is a “service” Business travel projects are services goods. Because of that nature 4 marketing characteristics must be underline.


Inseparabilit y


Heterogeneo us


 A business tourism project is tailored The entire business tourism projects are tailored. Each demand from a client is different, so as a consequence a tailored offer as to be conducted. Generally, business tourism sponsors are demanding for unique travels, especially for incentives projects.  A business tourism project has to be original Originality is a key word to succeed and win a business travel project. The competition is very hard in that sector of activity. Many actors are implanted on a market. As a consequence, project managers have to propose to the client original services, it can be for example an original tourism destination, or a hotel as a hotel which as a sustainable policy…



 A business tourism project has for characteristic to be “risky” operations. Managing human people is something very risky and doesn’t allow any mistakes. For example, when a project manager has to manage the registration for 300 participants in a congress, he has to know all the specific demands of each one of the guests. If there is a mistake made on one of the participant the success of the project and the client satisfaction will be failed. Another risk is the environment, for example the security of the participants is very important when a group travels abroad. The project management has to include and consider in his risk management plan, all the elements of the environment that could interfere with the success of the project. 4. The process of conducting a business tourism projects : the different stages We have seen in Part I of the research paper, the life cycle of a project, business tourism projects follow approximately the same stages. The project’s life cycle is applied to a business tourism project to demonstrate how the concepts from project management are efficient.

4.1 The model project life cycle applied the a business tourism project Initiating stage: There are a number of tasks that go into initiating an event. Most of these tasks are completed by a sales representative and a business tourism manager. The initial contact with a client may come in many forms. The type and length of the communication depends on the size of the project, level of experience the client has with business tourism project planning, and the way the company is organized The less experience the client has, the longer the pre-event meetings will be. One of the first documents that is generated by the client is a request for proposal (RFP) document. This document contains the scope of services, outlines processes, the agreement, and contact information. When the requests for proposal are well written and designed, they will help focus and communicate the client’s goals, and record all the information necessary for completing and billing the business tourism project. The sales department usually generates the response to the request for proposal. If a client does not send out a request for proposal, your initial contact may come as a phone call. An RFP or initial conversations typically record this information: -

What is the client’s contact information?


What are the client’s goals for the event? 43



What type of client is it?


What is the event’s profile?


What are the client’s goals?


What does the client have to lose or gain with the success of the event?


What level of experience does the client have?


May the project manager contact the client directly with questions or does he need to go through a point person?


How will the client participate in the meetings?


Who makes the final decisions?


Who is the point person responsible for approving changes?


What are the presenter’s requirements?


What are the presenter’s equipment needs?


What size is the event?


Is the business tourism project a conference, meeting, incentive? O


What is the general schedule?


What is the attendee profile?


How many staff members will work at the event

Initiating an event can be a long process which will vary, depending on the amount of assistance the client needs and the level of involvement of the project manager. The quality of the information collected in these initial contacts can provide a strong base for the rest of the event planning process. Planning stage: Planning the business tourism project is one of the most crucial parts of the management process. In this step, the project manager will plan every detail of the project. In addition, he will try to identify issues that may arise unexpectedly and plan ways to resolve them.

Executing stage: During this stage, the plans the project manager has created are executed. This phase doesn’t exclusively occur during the operation (congress/convention/ incentives…); it begins as soon as the plan has been put into action. During this stage, the project manager will also control and monitor the project.

Closing stage: The closing of a business tourism project begins when the client signs the finalized plans for the event. It’s the process of passing the finalized “product” to the client.



4.2 American Express Business Travel process to conduct a business tourism project We have just seen that the project cycle life model can be applied to business tourism projects. However, every business tourism actors has their own process to manage their projects.

The American Express Business Travel process is composed of 5 stages: -

Consulting ( request for proposal/brief clarification and establish a primary customer relationship)


Preparation, creation and delivery of an offer/proposal to the client (logistics, suppliers, proposal)


The result (answer of the client)


During the “event” (management of the attendees)


Evaluation (client’s satisfaction).

Consulting: this part is essential, as it is the first contact with the client. The agency receives a request for proposal from a client either to organize an incentive, meetings, a congress or simply an event. The project managers of American Express Business Travel have for strategy to first clarify the request for proposal, contact the client and determine its objectives, the purpose of the demand, and the budget.

Preparation, creation and delivery of an offer/ proposal: After clarifying the request for proposal, the project managers of American Express Business Travel establish a schedule and an action plan. Than the project managers contact one or several suppliers for the logistic part (hotels, airlines companies, DMC, restaurants…). At this stage the project managers have to frequently negotiate the prices proposed by the suppliers. Following the return of all the information send by the suppliers, the project managers need to create a commercial proposal aimed at the client including the budget draft, time schedule, services proposal…)

The result: At this stage 3 solutions are possible: -

Either the client accepts the proposal directly


Either the client has changed his needs and the project manager has to repeat the 2 first stages mentioned (consulting/preparation)


Either the client refuses directly the offer (cancellation) and the project manager has for objective to understand the reason(s) of this cancellation



If the offer is confirmed the project managers of American Express have for mission to draw up a contract between the agency and the client defying all objects of agreements (object of the contract, the price, the payment mode, general sales conditions, termination…) When the contract is signed by the 2 parties, the project manager has to confirm supplier’s services and send the invoice of the deposit to the client (cash flow management). Project managers of American Express have the obligation to do at least one weekly reporting with the client to inform him about the advancement of the project.

During the event: At this stage, the project managers have for objective to maintain a privileged relationship with the customer throughout the duration of the event/operation. At this level, the project managers are assuming their role as supervisors: they must assemble, coordinate and monitor the technical parameters, materials, budgeting… Evaluation: During this stage, the project managers of American Express evaluate the client’s satisfaction, and report the positive and negative sides of the project’s evolution.

5. The tools used by business tourism project managers We have specified in part one what were the main tools uses by project managers to conduct a project: planning, budget… Business tourism project managers are also using those tools in their projects. However, because of their activity, they also have specific tools that are applied only on their projects. 

The “retro-planning”

A retro-planning is reversed planning which has for characteristic to start on the deadline of the project and then goes back in time to position all the operations that have to be made/organize to accomplish the project. 

Schedule of the event

For each business tourism project, the project manager has to build a specific schedule that details the different timings during an operation. For example at what time the participants will arrive, at what hour the convention will begin and end…



Here under in a model of conference room schedule:



The data base

Business tourism project managers to be perform in their work, use date base. Example: a data base of hotels depending on the localization and category. These data base can be created by the project manager, or internal to the company or even external to the company. The best well known data base used by project managers is the “Bedouk data base” which is an online (Internet) data base that which can be consulted by anyone on the Internet. Thanks to this data base, the project manager can either find a hotel in France and specific suppliers.

Figure 1 : Source

Business tourism project’s budget

As for any projects, the business tourism project manager has to create a budget that suits the client’s demand. Business tourism project budget can be presented into different ways: -

Chronologically with the expenses presented day by day


Or item by item (accommodation, transport, activities, decorations…)



Here under is an example of a budget constructed item by item (translation in French: poste par poste)

Figure 2 Source :




Sales proposal document/ or proposal offer 18

The proposal document is created by the project manager for the sponsor/client. This document presents the offer and recommendations of the project manager according to the client’s demand. The proposal document is a very detailed document, it includes the different offers (hotel, activities, transportation), the planning during the operation and the budget. In other words, it contains all the services that the sponsor needs to achieve his project.


Examples of proposal document appendices 1 and 2



Transition: Now that we have focused on the project management concept and applied it to the business tourism field, we have noticed that project management was not as simply as it seems. Many problems can interfere when managing a project, and most projects are doomed to fail. This 3thrd part, will concentrate on the causes of projects’ failure, and the solutions that can be identified to solve the problems to tend toward project management performance.







Part III

As mentioned in the introduction of this report, most projects fail. This first part will expose and analyze the cause of the project’s failure and the solutions that can be applied to win projects. According to the Business Harvard school article: Good Projects Fail Anyway written by Nadim F. Matta, Ronald N. Ashkenas (Sep 01, 2003) “Big projects fail at an astonishing rate--more than half the time, by some estimates”. Project’s failure can have big consequence on the activity of a company, because project management takes a lot of time, financially they can be costs engaged…

During the initiation and planning stages • Objectives unclear • Inefficient planning • Inefficient decision process • Incorrect information • Modications/ changes

35% 28% 20% 9% 8%

During the execution stage • Inefficient team coordination • Poor advancement of the project • Poor communication • Insufficient effort • Poor knowledge of the business

27% 21% 9% 17% 16%

General organization • Inedequate ressources • Unclear responsabilities • Project manager lack of autonomy

53% 27% 20%

Following a Canadian investigation 19among (University of Pesquita Canada) 1 400 projects concerning the causes of project’s failure, the results are as follows: This 3thrd part, will analyze some of the causes of project’s failure that have been point out in the University of Pesquita of Canada, and identify the solutions that can be applied to solve the causes of project’s failure.


Source : University of Pesquita, Canada H.Gober and E.W Larson, Oregon State University



1. The inefficient management during the initiation stage According to the University of Pesquita of Canada’s investigation, an inefficient management of the initiation stage is one of the causes of project’s failure. The initiation stage is too often management without any organization, because unfortunately project managers enters directly into the planning or even the executive stage as they think that the initiation stage is a waste of time. However, the initiation stage is essential to win a project: 35% of projects are not achieved because the objectives were unclear… These objectives are generally unclear, because the project manager didn’t take time to focus on clarifying the request of proposal from the client, understand its needs and find an adapted solution related to his request. 1.1 Studying the sponsor/client needs and objectives Before getting directly to the execution stage, a project manager must specify the demand of the sponsor. There is no successful project if the needs have not been determined. To determine the needs, the project manager needs to clarify the following points: - What are the reasons of the client’s demand? - The objectives: what is the meaning of the project? - Interest: what is expected from the project? - What are the main results expected from the project? - The criteria of success: what will determine the end of the project? - Constraints: What are the main constraints: time, costs, and resources? - Limits: What does the client doesn’t want absolutely? This list can be a guide line during a business meeting with the client. Listening and communicate with the customer allows the project manager to capture the real needs while minimizing risks due to misunderstandings and interpretations. However, we can see that very often clients don’t know necessarily and precisely his expectations/needs. Sometimes the request is only an intuition that has not been thorough. The role of the project manager is then to decrypt the expectations by using for example a questionnaire with the elements that have been mentioned just above. 54


This work is necessary because some of the clients are implicit. To reduce the risk of not getting the client's expectations, it is critical to explore the needs. - Formalize the expression of demand - Send to the client a document or simply an e-mail containing a summary of his objectives to see if the he validates. 1.2 The characteristics of a good objective An objective is the expression of a goal to achieve. An objective must be well defined and measurable. Objectives are specific targets and never an unclear intention. For example "improving the quality of a service" is not a specific goal but 'Increasing by 30% the percentage of satisfied customers in the next 3 months" is an objective with a specific and measurable goal. Marketers often say that an efficient objective has to be SMART, that is to say: - Specific: the objective must be clear and unambiguous in its formulation - Measurable: The objective must be measured - Aligned: there is an agreement between at least 2 partners on the outcome of the objective - Realistic but stretching - Time bound It is also necessary to distinguish 2 types of goals: Quantitative objectives: the objective can have a clear indication of result to reach such as "increase by 25% the turnover of the company in the next 10 years” Qualitative objectives: for example "improve the reputation of the company within a year" is a qualitative objective. Analyzing the characteristic of an objective can be very helpful for project managers to avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding. 2. Getting to fast into the executive stage 2.1 Project manager hurry and lead to project failure Managing a project can be very stressful for project managers; that is why the first question a project











The first mistake that project manager usually does when they look at the deadline is often to say: “I have to start right away otherwise I am not going to make it on time”. On the contrary, the project manager should save some time on the initiation and planning stages to avoid problems and could 55


appear along the executive process. To avoid rushing into the executive stage, project managers are advised to break the project into tasks. The goals of breaking a project may be multiple, it is first to focus primarily on work to be done to better define the results that have been determined, defining the constraints, and finally determine the volume of work to accomplish. . 2.2 Breaking the project into tasks using Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) method.

A work breakdown structure is a hierarchical tree structure of deliverables and tasks that need to be performed to complete a project. This model allows for the project manager to know where he is going and what are the different tasks he has to achieve.

The Work Breakdown Structure can be presented as follows:

Figure 3 Source:



3. Time Management : Project managers obsession 3.1 Too short deadlines/delays Every project managers will tell you that in many cases deadlines are too short: not enough time a build an efficient project. The problem of persistent project delays and failure to meet promised deadlines has become very common for project managers. However, this problem is mostly the consequence of inefficient planning; the schedule is often not respected either by the project manager or by the project team. 3.2 Building an efficient planning : the GANTT chart planning model The GANTT planning model is project management tool for showing the phases, tasks and activities that are scheduled as part of a project over time. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish dates of the terminal elements and summary elements of a project. Among the functions that a GANTT chart can bring to a project manager, there is:  A Gantt chart lays out the order in which the tasks need to be carried out  Seeing immediately what should have been achieved at any point in time  A Gantt chart lets the project manager see how remedial action may bring the project back on course. Here under is an illustration of a GANTT chart planning:

Figure 4 Source :



What are the benefits of using a GANTT chart planning? 1. Clarity: One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool's ability to show in the same document the timelines and the tasks to achieve. 2. Coordination: For project managers, the benefits of a Gantt chart include the ability to sequence projects and reduce the potential for overburdening team members. 3. Time Management: Helping teams understand the overall impact of project delays can foster stronger collaboration while encouraging better task organization. 4. Manageability : For project managers handling complex assignments, like event planning, the benefits of Gantt charts is that the users can visualize all of the pieces of a project puzzle, managers can make more focused, effective decisions about resources and timetables. As a result, the GANTT chart helps project manager to monitor the project and respect the deadline. It is than a solution for project manager to manage time schedule 3.3 Using the time management ABC analysis The ABC analysis is a simple time management tool that divides priorities into 3 categories A : Tasks that are perceived as being urgent and important B: Tasks that are important but not urgent. C: Tasks that are neither urgent nor important. Project managers can use this tool in their every day work to clarify what are their priorities 3.4 Use the daily list : Things to do A written to do list is a simple technique of writing the tasks that needs to be achieved in one day. This technique is useful to be well organized and also to avoid stress.



4. Project team coordination 4.1 Problems that appears in project teams Coordinating a team requires management skills, because many problems can arise when working in a team. For example: an inefficient team can create confusion, create conflicts, be dominated by a single person. To avoid those problems the project managers has to really take his role of manager as a leader in team coordination. If a team is not correctly coordination the project will have great chances to fail as seen in the Canadian University investigation (27% of the cause of projects failure during the execution stage). 4.2 What type of team do I need to conduct my project? 20 That is the first question that a project manager should ask himself. There are 5 types of teams in organizations: Committee: team designed to work on a special task on a continuing basis while its members may change over time. Task force: a temporary team appointed for a specific purpose and expected to disband when it is achieved. Cross functional teams: gather people from different functional units to work on a specific problem in order to encourage interaction, information sharing and horizontal integration. Employee involvement teams: groups of workers who meet on a regular basis outside of their formal assignment to use their talent to help solve problems and achieve continuous improvement. Virtual teams: people who work together through computer interaction rather than face to face. Depending on the nature of the project, the project manager has to choose the right type team to build an efficient project. For example business tourism project teams are usually task force and virtual teams. Indeed, in most cases the business tourism teams are composed by a sales manager, a project manager and suppliers. The project manager and the suppliers only interact through computer: e-mails during the execution stage, and are only reunified for a specific purpose.


Courses of Management MBA- CMH School



4.3 The characteristics of an efficient team Complementarity: A good team should be complementary to win a project. Having a team with different expertise, knowledge can “promote” synergy and enrichment. Sharing objectives: Understanding and sharing the goals and challenges of a project are essential to a team. The project manager must take time in preliminary discussions to inform the project team members selected, about the issues, objectives and constraints of the project that they will deal with. The size of the team: A good project team is a team composed by 6 to 8 people. These increase efficient exchanges between the members. 4.4 What are the missions of an efficient project manager to coordinate a team? An efficient manager should be able to increase cohesion by  encouraging agreement on team goals  reward team results rather than individual results  increasing interaction among members  decreasing team size  A good communication with the team thanks to reporting, meetings and groupthink sessions.

4.5 Meetings : a necessary tool to coordinate a team To federate, communicate and cooperate, the members of a team project need to meet. The meetings are the best way to maintain the dynamism team and recall the project objectives.

There are usually 2 types of meetings in project management: - Ritual Meetings - Ad hoc meetings





The project manager and the

- Meeting for the launching

team project.

of the project.


- Meetings to solve problems

- Validation meetings - Project advancement meeting

-Exchange ideas meetings

- Project closure meeting

- Crisis meetings

5. Sticking to the budget: is it possible? 5.1 Committing to a budget : one of the best known problem in project management “Money often costs too much” Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher. Committing to the client’s budget, every project manager will tell you that it is mission impossible, especially since the beginning of the financial crisis. More and more companies have limited budget, or even those companies which have not been stroked by the crisis saw an opportunity of negotiating prices and getting the budget into its lowest point. It has become a big problem for projects managers to stick into the client’s budget. However, they can be 2 solutions to solve this problem: -

Either the project manager decides to make a commercial effort on his prices. That means that the project manager can decide the lower its percentage margin which represents its benefits to stick to the client’s budget.


Either the project manager tries to negotiate the budget and prices with the client and or the suppliers.

5.2 Negotiating prices and budget 21 The best used solution to lower prices to stick to a budget is negotiating the price with the client and or the suppliers. However, how a conduct a good negotiation is something that has to be think, 21

Source Book Comment réussir une négociation, Le Seuil ; 1982 Fisher Roger



planned and organized by the initiator of the negotiation. Project managers have to know the tools to succeed in their negotiation. a) What are the steps of a good negotiation Performing a good negotiation can be divided into 5 stages The preparation stage: At that stage, the project manager has to put himself in the shoes of the other party. He has to take the time to investigate the other party point of view what we call role playing: to understand the other position, objectives and interests. The strategy/tactics stage: During that stage the project manager has to plan his strategy. A strategy is somehow “the big picture plan”. Tactics on the other hand are the tools that the project manager will use in his strategy to reach his goal. Example of tactics: duration, location… The talks stage: During that stage the both parties exchange their opinions that try to find the best solution for both of them, sometimes by making concessions. The make a choice stage: At that stage, the project manager takes a decision: to continue or to stop the negotiations. The Finalization stage: Validation by the 2 parties and execution of what has been agreed. b) 10 tips to succeed in a negotiation 

Be prepared: the more relevant information a person has, the better is its position

Understanding the needs of the adversary : put yourself in the adversary’s shoes- their

objectives, their gains 

Know what are your needs

Most negotiation involve ongoing relationships (long term relationship)

Every negotiation is different

The situational dynamic

Never lie/be fair

Don’t tip your hand

Be flexible : compromise

Winning is not everything



6. Software at the service of project success They are many software on the market place that are dedicated to project management. Those software can be useful tools to plan, organize, schedule projects and help the project managers to achieve his mission. Among the best known we can mention: Microsoft Project, MS Project and Lotus Notes by IBM. Each of these software include a document library, a project calendar tool, a mailbox created for managing e-mails and information, a GANTT chart tool, and a directory Lotus Notes IBM calendar:

Figure 5 Source:



Lotus Notes IBM mailbox: 22

Figure 6 Source:

7. My recommendations to avoid projects failure During my 8 months internship as a business travel assistant project manager (from February to September 2009) at American Express Business Travel M.I.C.E department, I had the opportunity to understand project management. I have “lived” the failure of some projects and I tried to think of solutions that could avoid project’s failure. Here under are some of the recommendations I came up with: 7.1 Establish a database management For most companies, the more you know about your customers, suppliers, and the better. Therefore gathering information in database can provide real advantages. First advantage: No waste of time. For example, a database that contains all the proposals made by the project managers per country can be very profitable. This tactic could be applied to suppliers: create a database will all the suppliers’ contacts, per field, per area (animation, incentive, congress…) will permit to gain time. 22

Source :



Second advantage: Gather client’s information: Establishing a CRM (customer relationship management) database will indicate useful information. For example if a client regularly asks a company with request for proposal, the project managers will know what projects have been already conducted with this client, what are his tastes, goals and objectives. In other words, maintaining a database may permit to better target customers: know in advance the strategy to plan, as for example the pricing strategy. Third advantage: reduce redundancy of information: Hotels especially tend to give a lot of information: merges, promotions, new brands‌ Creating a database with those 3 elements could reduce the number of information and save time. 7.2 Intern communication Improving inter communication on ongoing projects, new market trends, new customers, objectives, brainstorming‌ will help the project managers group/team to work in a more efficient way. A weekly point/meeting could be organized at the beginning of each week to improve the internal communication. 7.3 Efficient time management: eliminating time stressors. Being a project manager can be very stressful job, especially in the business travel field. Some recommendations to eliminate time stressors applied during my internship: -

Planning : calendars, to do lists


Distinguish what is important and what is urgent


Focus on results rather than methods


Build a short term plan which will focus on immediate achievement rather than fearful future.



Transition: This last part, will sort of demonstrate the cause of failure and success of project by studying 2 cases files. This ending part will close the research paper with a focus on a real case study.









Incentive in Paris 1. The request for proposal made by the client/sponsor Client’s area field: Energy industry Nature of the event: incentive Destination: Paris and surroundings Number of participants: 50 mainly men coming from South America Time period: April 2010 Stay: 6 days / 5 nights or 7 days / 6 nights Facilities needed:  Hotel: 5 stars hotels with singles and doubles bedrooms bed and breakfast  Full board including typical restaurant proposals  Excursions/visits/activities including meals and Spanish speaking guides  Transfers with a Spanish speaking assistance  Budget 800,00€ per person for only the accommodation including bed and breakfast and local taxes. 2. The initiation stage A conference call with the client to know more about the objectives and goals of this project. The result of the conference call : -

The sponsor was a sales marketing director that wanted to reward his best sales managers with regard to their work, by giving them the opportunity to visit one of Europe’s capitals.


Deadline to answer this request: 2 days.


Other competitors: Madrid, Rome, London and Berlin.


The attendees have most of them never been to Europe


The risks: a hard competition on this project. The risk that Paris is high a priced destination compared to a city as Madrid. Difficulty concerning the budget of the client: matching the client’s budget with the services wanted (5 star hotels).


Concerning the excursions: the specification is to have amazing activities that the attendees will never forget, including a typical tour of Paris. 69



High quality restaurants needed.

3. My answer to this demand

































4. Causes of failure on this project -

A too short deadline to find real attractive services, especially concerning the activity


The prices proposed were to high and not corresponding to the client’s budget


Not enough time to negotiate with suppliers on the prices (especially the accommodation)

5. The solutions that could have been made -

Promote the Paris as an exceptional and unforgettable destination (architecture, history‌) to justify the high prices.


Trying to negotiate with the client during a conference with the tactic of explaining that American Express Business Travel is well known on the market and as a undeniable power of negotiation with suppliers, and that the agency can lower the price, if the client is willing to give an other deadline.






Seminar in Bordeaux 1. The request for proposal made by the client/sponsor Client’s area field: International specialist in “building constructions” Nature of the event: seminar Destination: Bordeaux and surroundings Number of participants: 20 (executive committee) Time period: From the 2nd to the 5th December 2009 Facilities needed:  Hotel: 5 stars hotels with singles and doubles bedrooms bed and breakfast  Full board including typical restaurant proposals  Excursions/visits/activities including meals  Transfers required  Transport: From Paris to Bordeaux by plane requested airline company Air France Detailed program: On the 2nd of December  Morning transfer from Bordeaux’s airport to the hotel  Breakfast at the hotel  Lunch at the hotel  Afternoon: meeting (3 meeting rooms are required)  Aperitif and diner in a restaurant nearby the hotel  Night in a 5 star hotel On the 3thrd and 4th of December  Breakfast at the hotel  Morning : meeting (3 meeting rooms are required)  Lunch in a restaurant nearby the hotel  Afternoon : excursion in the region of Bordeaux  Aperitif and diner in a restaurant nearby the hotel 88


 Night in a 5 star hotel On the 5th of December  Breakfast at the hotel  Transfer to Bordeaux’s airport  Return to Paris Budget: No quality, high quality services expectations

2. The initiation stage This client has every year conducting a seminar project with the agency. The customer relationship manager informed me about the client’s profile. -

The most important for those client are the services quality mainly high standing


Budget : they are not suffering of the financial crisis


The seminar goal is also realized to make important working decision about the company


Main risk: the weather in December. No outside excursions can be proposed without any risk.




Creation of the planning that suit the detailed program of the client


Time schedule establish : 5 days to answer to request for proposal


Creation of a task force team with the suppliers in Bordeaux and collaboration in the Congress and Events business unit of the Bordeaux Tourism Office


Creation of a first draft budget



4. My answer to this demand





























5. Causes of success on this project -

A efficient collaboration with all the suppliers


The objectives of the client were well understood


The delays were respected


Original and exclusive services were proposed.



General Conclusion Thanks to this research paper I have shared my knowledge concerning project management. As we have seen, projects do fail, however there are many solutions that can be adopted to avoid failure, yes performance can be reached in project management. However, even if a project manager has all the tools to succeed in project management, I believe that professional experience, learning from your mistakes are the best tool to succeed in that domain. That will be my ending point for this research paper, and I hope that through your lecture, I have leant valuable elements that may help you in your professional career.



Bibligraphy 1. Christian Rabaté : Managez vos tous vos projets ; Collection gestion de projets-Eyrolles éditions dorganisation. 2. Dictionary : the Robert, 2001 3. Bennis, W: Learning to lead; Addison-Wesley MA, 1997 4. AFITEP: Le management de projet principes et pratiques ; AFNOR gestion 1998 5. Fisher Roger : Comment réussir une négociation ; le Seuil 1992 6. Marketing magazine n°48, 2000 Tourisme d’Affaires : du voyage à l’outil de communication 7. L’événementiel n°130 juin 2006

Webography 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Illustrations Figure 1 : Source ...................................................................................................... 48 Figure 2 Source : .................................................................................... 49 Figure 3 Source: ............................................................ 56 Figure 4 Source : ................................................... 57 Figure 5 Source: 63 Figure 6 Source: 64




Mémoire MBA 4ème année subject: project management  

mémoire MBA CMH-IEMI

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