5 Strategy Practices Used to Complete the $9B CityCenter Project

18 million square feet. 7 buildings. $9 billion dollars. 5 years. CityCenter, Las Vegas.

With such a complicated project to accomplish, the process and management system to complete CityCenter should have been an unmanageable beast. But they weren’t. In fact, they are common (yet essential) strategic management practices that aren’t as complex as you’d think and should be implemented within your organization.

Bill Smith, CityCenter’s development manager, relied on these 5 strategic management practices to complete the mega project on time:

  1. Establish A [Project] Vision – In any organization, being clear and direct about your organization’s vision is vital to helping everyone understand the why behind their work. One of the keys to CityCenter’s success was the firm’s ability to communicate the project vision and scope of the project to each individual employee. At its peak, the construction project employed 12,000 workers.
  2. Find the Right People – You have to find the right people with the right capabilities to achieve your goals and objectives. Sometimes that means you need to address your team’s skillset and decide if there are any experience gaps. For CityCenter, it meant hiring a firm out of New York to provide 120 high-level construction experts to help manage the project.
  3. Empower Decision Making – Empower your team to make decisions and solve problems within your organization. Over-managing put the brakes on a team’s momentum and brings progress to a halt. In CityCenter’s case, project managers had the authority to make decisions with impacts up to $350,000.
  4. Find More People – Sometimes during the execution of a strategic plan, you realize you have experience gaps. While you’ve already assessed your team’s experience, you need to consistently monitor your strategy to see if there are issues that are a result from an experience gap. CityCenter had to hire additional contractors 18 months before project completion to ensure everything would be finished on time, ultimately saving $9 million dollars.
  5. Problem Solving Forum – Weekly and monthly open forums for your team to identify issues and find solutions are vital to the strategic management process. These meetings, supported by quarterly strategy reviews, allow you to feel the pulse of your organization. CityCenter held three weekly meetings to address issues because of the project’s scale.

The successful completion of this massive project is a testament to the power of simple, practical strategic management principals. Yes, the project was unbelievably complex and its completion was truly a feat. But, it was possible because of tried and tested management practices that any person can implement within an organization.

See the Tedx Talk here.



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