The Results of Successful Project Management

April 11, 2007
When teams communicate, the end result is a successful project

By Linda K. Monroe

This month, Buildings presents an in-depth report on the foundation by which every structure is built (and rebuilt): project management. Spearheaded by Senior Associate Editor Leah B. Garris, this special section deals with the many elements that can help ensure the success of your next endeavor; however, as Leah so succinctly explains, such an achievement can only begin (and, in your professional lives, end) with the project team.

In discussing story angles, resources, and our collective goal of bringing this content to the pages of Buildings, I recalled the most recent project-related story I pursued: the Dallas/Ft. Worth (D/FW) Intl. Airport, Terminal D (featured in Buildings' October 2006 issue). At Terminal D, the design challenge was bold, decisive, and innovative. The actual process, from conception through fruition, took 6 years - mainly because the D/FW Intl. Airport Board set out to create a new international passenger terminal that would set new standards for facility design, function, operational flexibility, and amenities. Even more importantly, these goals had to be realized within a footprint originally designated for a terminal half of the "usual" size, and the actual construction had to be seamlessly integrated into the airport campus without compromising existing operations.

Teamwork was crucial, and innovation and a final design resulted from the strength and experiences of three different architectural companies (HKS Inc., Corgan Associates, and HNTB) working closely with the airport team. When the tragic events of 9/11 occurred while the project was under way, the commitment and ingenuity of the project team took this very difficult time in stride and adapted the design into a more robust and secure structure.

I had the pleasure of actually experiencing Terminal D for myself in late January while on a business trip to Dallas, and the reality of the structure (with its unique finishes; daylighting that truly opened up the spaces, but retained a level of intimacy; superlative wayfinding that practically hand-led me to my departing gates; interactive art; and exceptional retail offerings) made me appreciate even more what these partners in design had put forth in their collaboration. I knew the story, having worked with the key executives involved on the project; however, I was surprised by my reaction once I exited the rail system. While I was awed by the project itself, what was even more evident throughout the space was the team's commitment.

Ultimately, isn't that what project management is all about?

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