Project Management As The Answer To India’s Olympics Woes – SDA Bocconi Asia Center

How is it that the UK managed to bag the second rank with 67 medals in 2016 as opposed to just 15 medals in Atlanta Olympics in 1996? Isn’t this disparity in results astonishing? But how did the UK manage to make this shift? In this video, Marco Sampietro, a Professor at MISB Bocconi, explains the results of 2016 Olympics with the Project Management perspective. And at some point in time, this concept of ‘Project Management’ will creep into your b-school curriculum. So why not understand it now with the help of Olympic Games and performances of UK and India?



Project Management is essentially the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. So how is Project Management a factor in Team GB, the UK team, securing the rank 2 in 2016 Olympics?

The results of UK are rooted in the recent past. In 1996, during the Atlanta Olympics, UK was able to secure only 15 medals – one of the worst performances in the history of UK.

  1. Use the funds from the National Lottery. But money is often not enough to make a drastic change in performances.
  2. Change the managerial approach to manage Olympic Games. Consider, different sports as different projects so every sport has a specific target. And to reach these targets, first, check the historical performances of the particular sport, second, check for the current and future prospect it has, lastly, look for the managerial capabilities it has. This way, you can assign the target to different sports and then monitor if these targets have been reached. This should be done not only in Olympics, once every 4 years but also at National and International events.
  3. Don’t consider sports from an individual perspective but consider different sports as projects and different projects make a ‘program’. By having the program perspective, we can compare the performances of different sports and then, assign the resources accordingly. By doing so, you can also increase the level of competition between different sports. Then you can monitor the different targets and the managerial capabilities to manage sports in a professional way.

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