Olympic Bid Backlash Project Cost Overrun Deflector

“Unlike cities hosting an Olympics, people are happy to sign up with us”.

Imagine saying that on a call this month…

This week yet another wannabe Olympic Host City saw a citizen’s revolt scupper civic leaders grand plans.

Canada’s 1998 Winter Games venue Calgary returned a 56-44 vote against going for the 2026 turn.

Several recent plebiscites have gone the same way (apart it seems, from in Oslo, where the authorities scrapped their bid anyway). As summed up by a journalist before the Albertan referendum;

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, says there are three reasons why the Olympic movement keeps losing these referendums. “The first one was money, the second was money and the third was money.”

This reminded me of my blogs down the years about construction overrun disasters. The Olympics are such a special case of these, that Oxford boffins looked into their abyss. A pre-Rio 2016 assessment had the sub-head;

The average Olympics goes over budget by 156 percent.
For a third of the games since 1960, nobody even knows the cost overruns.

One fascinating finding here, is the comparison to IT project cost overruns. These come in at 107 percent. Ouch. Over double.

There are those who feel that all projects, mega or lesser, are prone to the pre-completion poison of throwing good money after bad.

Just last month I blogged on Crunch Time, touching on Brooks Law. A software version of how shovelling more money onto a problem late in the day rarely – if ever – fixes it.

Our prospects may well be acutely aware of this. And highly averse to leaving themselves open to the malady.

So have you got your risk mitigation (one of my favourite Prop sections, incidentally) pitch in your pocket?

The one where you show you come in before time, under budget, genuinely plug-and-play?

Then you can deploy your own type of Olympic trap for any competition. After all, you’ll probably have your own spin on the “Olympic Games Knowledge Management Program” to ensure you’re building on what works.

Think of all those dilapidated, abandoned, uncared for venues now more green having succumbed to local flora. Which when briefly in use, drained cash. No-one wants a project like those. And you can prove yours are never like that, right?

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