Executing and Closing Projects

Based on The Case Study, Identify 3 Benefits that You Would Have Included in The Terminal 5 Project Business Case

Benefit 1

Better IT training of the staff.

Benefit 2

Better trained staff, in general.

Benefit 3

Completion of the work before the opening along with rigorous checking of the IT components.

State 2 Criteria (qualitative or Quantitative) for Each Benefit by Which the Achievements of The Benefits Could Be Measured

Benefit 1

Criterion 1

If the staff is trained in IT, there would be no technical errors to report. The terminal’s functioning would be smooth.


Criterion 2

As seen, there were problems regarding signing in and signing out, which would have been eliminated if the staff had known how to operate the said IT devices. Additionally, had the staff been trained properly, the misplacement of bags and manual reconciliation would not have had to happen. (Thompson, 2008)

Benefit 2

Criterion 1

As per reports, the airport was facing issues as the staff could not park when the parking was already full. (Thompson, 2020) Additionally, there were transfer delays. (BBC, 2008)


Criterion 2

The staff could not understand the problems with the terminal’s baggage system. The data was being transferred to another part of the airport with a live option. However, this was figured out later. (Thompson, 2008)

Benefit 3

Criterion 1

The airport had 275 elevators (lifts) out which 28 were not working on the first day itself. Furthermore, 17 were broken, which excluded 11 lifts which were to be fixed later. (Thompson, 2008)


Criterion 2

The airport also had various areas where construction was still on-going, despite the airport being operational. (Thompson, 2008)

Actual Performance: State Whether These Criteria Have Been Met/not Met/partially Met and Give Reasons for Your Assessment


Met/not met/partially met


Benefit 1


Criterion 1

Partially met

Although the employees of terminal 5 were seen to struggle with the IT part of the terminal, not all was lot. There were certain pressing matters, but it was not as though the terminal was defunct. As the terminal, at first, intended to taken on many flights and could not due to the IT problems, the terminal took a limited number of flights and slowly increased the number. (BBC News, 2008)

Criterion 2

Partially met

The terminal faced issues in the beginning as there were many cumulative problems. The staffs was not trained in the area of IT, which was the beginning of all the problems. As Terminal 5 is one of the most technologically advanced terminals in Europe (Laing O’Rourke, n.d.), the terminal made use of many hi-tech gadgets, which were not common for those working in the terminal.

Benefit 2


Criterion 1

Not met

There was more to the problems faced by T5, as the terminal did not find the right mix of things. As per the statements released the haphazard beginning or the opening was the culmination of many problems and not just the IT problems. Furthermore, the issue of elevators not functioning or the parking taking too long, all added to the problems which could have been avoided only if the staff members were trained properly. (Thompson, 2008)

Criterion 2

Not met

The risk of losing baggage at Terminal 5 stood at one in twelve, which is extremely high. The total toll of bags missing rose to 900 a day. The baggage handling of T5 was facing criticism since the opening and continued to face the same even after three months of operations. The problem was in the system, or the automated system for handling the baggage. (Milmo, 2008) The bags were being delivered to another live system in Heathrow, which is why the baggage was not delivered to Terminal 5. The problem here is that the staff did not understand the problem as there was nobody on-board who understood these problems.

Benefit 3


Criterion 1

Not met

Apart from the technical problems, the airport struggled with its amenities. The biggest issue was with that of the lifts that the airport had. The lifts were supposed to make matters easier for the passengers, and out of the 275 lifts, 28 of them were non-functional on the first day. And that is not all, those lifts were reported to be unfixable until the end of May at that time, thereby disrupting the work in the terminal. (Thompson, 2008)

Criterion 2

Not Met

Although the terminal 5 was supposed to be one of the most smooth-functioning terminals in the airport, the beginning was a bit bumpy. As per various reports, the first few weeks saw construction work being done, despite the airport open for operations. Such construction work could cause problems, and can cause harm to people. It also makes the work look lesser than it really is, it should have been completed beforehand.

Describe how The Problems with The Baggage Handing System (BHS) Affected Meeting the Specified Objectives

Primarily, Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport faced two problems, one was the issue with IT and the other was baggage handling. The terminal gained a negative image for the fact that it kept losing baggage even after three months of opening. As per an article in The Guardian, a T5 personnel had releveled that the terminal misplaced at least 900 bags a day, which meant that at least one person in twelve people was losing their baggage.

Since the system for baggage handling was not functioning as it should have been, there were many issues in the running of operations. The primary problems faced due to not being able to manage the baggage better was that a lot of baggage arrived at T4, which had to be transferred to T5. Since the system was not working, everything had to be done manually, which meant more delays. (Milmo, 2008)

With addition to that, the passengers from T5 were not happy with the service either. There were various passengers who had raised a voice against the bad service. Along with that some had even believed that they were entitled to compensation, legally, as the service was exceptionally poor. Also, BA had stated that the backlog would take at least a week to clear up, and that there were at least 15,000 bags that needed to be returned, and there were a bit over 20,000 bags that needed to be rescreened, which means that the Terminal’s staff was overworking and compensating for the non-functional automated system.

The problems with baggage handling and sorting systems hampered the flights and its schedule. Backed up baggage handling led to flight delays and in most cases, flight cancellations. (BBC News, 2008) Furthermore, these issues were so horrific, that there were many cancellations. As mentioned above, the baggage was sent to another part of the airport. Since there was no claim to the bags, it was stored, which, again, gave rise to more work. Most of the baggage control during the time was done manually, and that is why the delays existed


Chosen governance domain:


How were they handled

What could have been done differently to avoid/mitigate the problems encountered

Function 1:

Control: Not handled well

As per the case study, it is evident that the Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 was off to a bumpy start. However, there were many problems that the terminal simply could control everything. The vision of the terminal was perfect. However, the fact that the vision could not be managed in accordance with the functionality of the staff, everything was rendered useless in the beginning. Many of the passengers were unhappy with the service provided. The baggage handling, and the parking services among other areas of the Terminal were out of control.

The easiest solution to this problem was to assess the staff’s capabilities, and to train the staff regarding the same. The issues persisted as the staff was not familiar with these new systems.

Function 2:

Integration: Overall Poor Performance

Another problem was that the entire terminal could not integrate the high-tech devices and systems initially. In the beginning, instead of focusing on making the entire terminal a high-tech terminal, the area could have had a mix of things, some regular features with some new ones. For example, the automated baggage handling system, which was apparently supposed to be a state of art system caused majority of the problems which led to flight cancellations.

Another way to tackle the issues was to test run the systems before the grand opening. A trial run of sorts for the various systems in the terminal would have helped the staff to get used to the systems and would have highlighted the problems that later caused many problems. The benefit of this particular method is timeless and two-fold, especially in scenarios where the staffs have problems with familiarity with devices, functions and systems.

Project Audit

With that in consideration, it is easy to understand that there were some unclear understandings regarding the roles of the BAA and BA. However, it is also important to keep in mind that in certain cases, there was nothing that could be done. For example, the problem with the system of baggage handling was a problem that could not be helped by the managers or the leaders, and the problem of lifts not functioning was yet another problem that could not be dealt with, which also included the problem of the lifts not being fixed for a while.

With that being said, some instructions were unclear, while others were not. However, Terminal 5 powered through and began to adapt to the new requirements with addition to making the relevant changes in its service sector for its passengers.

References for Project Closure and Governance Report

BBC. (2008, April 11). BA postpones long-haul move to T5. News.Bbc.Co.Uk. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7342263.stm

BBC News. (2008, March 31). 28,000 bags caught in T5 foul-up. News.Bbc.Co.Uk. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7323198.stm

‌Laing O’Rourke. (n.d.). Home | Laing O’Rourke. Www.Laingorourke.Com. Retrieved May 24, 2020, from http://laingorourke.com/our-projects/all-projects/heathrow-terminal-5.aspx

Milmo, D. (2008, July 9). Air travel: Terminal 5 still losing 900 bags every day. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/jul/10/britishairwaysbusiness.heathrow

Thompson, R. (2008). British Airways reveals what went wrong with Terminal 5. ComputerWeekly.Com. https://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240086013/British-Airways-reveals-what-went-wrong-with-Terminal-5

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