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Applying Lean Project Management to FIFA World Cup 2018 Assignment Sample

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Customized Consumer Demands Driving Organizational Change

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Today’s business world is quite similar to a merry-go-round. Consumers nowadays are more demanding and want the organisation to cater to their customised demands. In order to provide their patrons high-level satisfaction, organisations are providing best services at a cheaper rate. In order to sustain their business, they also need to earn their benefit. Lean project management is being used in the field of organisation and management in order to remove wastage of resources and enhancing the efficiency of the operations in a project.In this project report, a deep discussion on lean project management will be done in the context of FIFA World Cup 2018. The overview of the event will be provided and how lean management can reduce the wastage and improve the efficiency will be talked about. The various ways of employing the lean strategy were talked about in brief. In addition to this, various terms that are crucial for the project managers working on FIFA 2018 will be explained. These terms were Critical to Customer Requirements (CCR), Voice of the Customer (VOC) and Critical to Quality Parameters (CTQ). Later on, the report will also elaborate on how lean approach can be used in organizing FIFA 2018. The report will conclude after explaining the lean project management approaches and tools.


The FIFA 2018 World Cup is the first football event that will be organised for the first time in Eastern Europe. This is one of the largest events that will be organised in Russia. The overall cost estimated for the event is $14.2 billion. The event will involve 32 national men’s team of member’s nations of FIFA. The event involves the use of video assistant referee systems. Nine members of FIFA placed their bids in 2009 in order to host the FIFA World Cup 2018 (Swart, 2016).

The concept of Lean Project Management

Before understanding the lean project management, it is important to understand the concept of lean. The lean philosophy was developed by Toyota Production System (TPS). The concept was used by the Toyota in order to improve its manufacturing and logistics.

Lean project management is the newly developed concept that is being used in the field of organisation and management in order to remove wastage of resources and enhancing the efficiency of the operations in a project (Kneese,, 2015). It outlines on increasing the productivity of a process as it is the most critical requirement. The project manager relies on the lean approaches to ease their task of managing things. The FIFA World Cup 2018 is the billion dollar project and therefore, the organising committee aims at making the event successful. For this purpose, the project manager should look for the lean project management strategies to get the project done well on time and to provide the best experience to the football fanatics. There are many benefits of lean project management:-

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction by delivering the best services in accordance with customer needs.
  • Increased productivity as the lean approach improvise the value and output
  • The process reduces waste as it lessens the waiting and inefficiencies, physical waste, etc.
  • It improves the management of the inventory by reducing the time lag in the work in progress which leads to fewer bottlenecks (Kerzner, 2017).
  • Lean approaches encourage the innovation by promoting creative ideas and brainstorming activities.

The reason for promoting lean project management for organising the FIFA 2018 is that the approach is based on the idea of maximising the customer value. In addition to this, it also emphasises the concept of reducing the waste from a project. FIFA aims at increasing the spectator's experience by providing them the maximum value at a very minimal cost. The lean management uses a wide range of tools in order to achieve the objectives of lean management. These tools include Agile Practices, PMBOK, PRINCE2, Lean Six Sigma, and Organisational Project Management.

As a part of project management, there are certain terms that every project manager should understand:-

  • Voice of Customer (VOC): It is all about determining and understanding the customer demands. This is necessary in order to serve them at the best. The overall purpose of understanding the VOC is to deliver the quality services and that too at a minimal cost. This approach is based on the principle of reactiveness and encourages managers to be proactive. This is important to cater to the ever-changing desires of the consumers. If the organising committee wants to make the whole event successful, then it is important for them to understand what people who love football want. It would help them to fulfill those demands and that too with a high level of quality (Kendrick, 2015). This demand can be noted down by making use of survey, face to face interviews, feedback forms, etc.
  • Critical to Customer Requirement (CCR): The FIFA World Cup 2018 is the global event and has the fan following in every country of the world. Everyone expects the world-class arrangement and facilities during the whole event. The FIFA has clearly stated that the event will provide high-quality sporting experience to everyone who comes to Russia just to enjoy the game. This has increased the pressure tremendously on the organising committee to have the service in line with the customer's requirements. CCR is the conditions that encourage the customers to make a purchase. This depends on whether or not a customer is satisfied. CCR can be recorded through VOC. Therefore, FIFA 2018 organiser should deeply explore the needs of their customers (Koskela & Howell, 2013).
  • Critical to Quality Parameters (CTQ): This is the last stage for ‘knowing your customer’ process. Each and every facility in FIFA 2018 should meet the standards in order to have the best quality and performance. These parameters and standards can be set based on the outputs given by the internal and external customers. Their statement can be recorded through interviews or any survey. In these surveys, they can state what they need and expect from the overall event. In order to make FIFA 2018 a successful event, the organising committee should attend to the demand of the customer as stated in the form.

Employing Lean Management in FIFA World Cup 2018

As already discussed that every day more than 40000 people would be attending the game every day. In order to cater to their demand, there would be a need of a large number of management staff. More than 6000 volunteers were trained by the organizing committee all over Russia and 70% of the working population of Russia were directly or indirectly associated with the FIFA World Cup 2018. This shows the scale of the event. Therefore, no one can deny the use of lean project management in order to handle the project of such a humongous scale. It can be used in order to fulfill the following goals of FIFA 2018:

  • Timely Completion of the project: The major requirement is that the project gets completed before the time. As the date of commencement of the event is out, there is no space for time lag or any work backlog. If the work does not get completed on time, then it would be very shameful for Russia and it may lose the chance of hosting the event in the future.
  • Encouraging cross-functional teamwork: The basic principle is to promote teamwork instead of working all alone. This would increase the overall productivity of the team as two or more people with some complimentary skills can work together. In addition, a team may work with another team of a different domain in order to increase the pace of work (Meng, 2012).
  • Customer Satisfaction: The final aim of the event is to provide the best experience to spectator which can only be possible if they provide more values to the customers. They want quality services and lean’s main focus is quality only.
  • Staying within the budget limit: The overall budget is very high but the scale of the project is high too. Therefore, project managers have to make sure that everything remains within the budget only. This is important for each and every project.
  • Fulfilling the project requirement: The lean project management aims at accomplishing all the demands and requirement of a project. If any of the demands remain unattended, then this may lead to dissatisfaction among the customers. This would later affect the goals of FIFA 2018. Lean can help in fulfilling the projected demand.

Tools for Lean Project Management

The Project Management Institute (PMI), a non-profit organisation formulated a set of standards for an effective project management. The term PMBOK is the short form for Project Management Body of Knowledge. PMBOK is not a methodology but a set of standards. It states that a project can have five stages that are important for an even a big project like the FIFA World Cup 2018. These stages are: Initiating stage where a project starts or the extension of an existing project begins. The next stage is planning, where the scope, objectives, and goals are defined and the procedure to achieve them is developed. Then comes the executing stage, where the activities stated in the project management stage is executed. After execution, the monitoring and controlling begin and each activity will be tracked, reviewed, and regulated. The ultimate stage is a closing stage where all the activities of the process are completed and the project is formally declared closed. In the context of FIFA World Cup 2018, the PMBOK is very appropriate as the project would also undergo the same stages. PMBOK would bring the best of the best conventions and practices along with technological aid to bring quality in work and reduce the wastage of material.

Managing Lean Project

Each and every processis carried out with utmost precision as PMBOK emphasises more on the code of conducts. Once these guidelines are employed properly, the objective of providing high-quality services and experience to the spectators of FIFA World Cup 2018 will get fulfilled. These guidelines highlight the nine fundamental areas of lean project management. These include Cost Management, Human Resource Management, Scope Management, Procurement Management, Quality Management, Risk Management, Time Management, Communication Management, and Project Integration. As delivering quality experience was the main concern of the Local Organising Committee of FIFA 2018, PMBOK can be used so to weigh and compare the best and most feasible practices in developing a project and completing it on time. In the field of quality management, PMBOK is quite unique as its recommendations are easy-to-follow and clear. Nothing can be as good as PMBOK for FIFA 2018 as it prioritises the customers' interests. In addition to this, the method also highlights the process of determining and arranging the resources for FIFA World Cup 2018.

PRINCE2 is a short form for Project IN Controlled Environment is one of the most structured methods used in project management. This project tool can be used in two of the crucial stages, namely control and management. This tool is a process-based and provides easily scalable solutions which can be tailored (Nicholas& Steyn, 2017). The tool can be used in different stages of project management, such as initiating, planning, directing, managing, controlling, and closing. The tool was first developed by the Government of UK. In the context of FIFA World Cup 2018, PRINCE2 can be used in carrying out various project aspects, such as cost analysis, cost-structuring, risk identification, planning for reducing the risk, and strengthening the management. Point to note here is that every aspect of PRINCE2 can be applied to everywhere.

Managing Lean Project

The effectiveness of PRINCE2 depends on the scalability of the project and it may or may not be very effective in project management of FIFA World Cup 2018. This tools can be very useful in providing guidance to the managers working in the organizing team of FIFA'18. The advantage of employing PRINCE 2 is that it can be tailored in accordance with the need of a specific event. In addition to this, the tool can be used to increase the quality of the services. The disadvantage is many a time, the essential elements of the tools are eliminated in order to get the project completed well on time. This may reduce the effectiveness of the project. Moreover, it should not be employed on the project of a small scale.

AGILE Practices : AGILE methods are one of the most recognisable practices in the area of project management. FIFA World Cup is a huge event where a lot of processes are iterative and incremental. Therefore, agile methods are best for the event. These practices are initially developed for software development in the year 2001 (Poppendieck and Cusumano, 2012).The developers tried to accomplish four values:

  • People’s interactions over tools and processes
  • Using software for documenting the processes
  • Consumer collaboration while negotiating contracts
  • Responding to amendments while following a pre-defined plan.

The overall agile practices were developed keeping in mind many principles. The first and foremost is the customer satisfaction by employing the project management software. Therefore, these practices can be also used in organising FIFA 2018. Another, advantages of using agile practices are that even the late changes can be welcomed in the project management plan. The scope of a big event like the FIFA World Cup keep changing and that further changes the project management scope. Agile practices are designed to handle such challenges and deliver the required results within a few weeks instead of months. FIFA World Cup 2018 also highlights the sustainable development objectives. The agile methods ensure that this is done without affecting the pace of the project. Agile practices are easy to understand and adapt. Agile methodology due to its adaptability can be used in big events like the FIFA World Cup 2018. These methods make it is easy for the managers to track the progress of various aspects of the event and deliver the most satisfying services. For this purpose, there are six measures that are used, namely roadmap, sprint backlog, event backlog, increment, event vision statement, and release plan. The overall purpose of implementing agile practices is to promote flexibility, collaboration, get high-quality results, and earmarked continuous improvement.

Organisational Project Management (OPM)

The organisational project management is the most systematic mode of managing a project, portfolios, and programs in order to accomplish the strategic goals and objectives set by the organisation. The concept is fully grounded in the idea that there is a relationship between project management abilities and effectiveness in strategy implementation. According to PMI, this framework is very strategically focused and is used widely by the project managers in making use of project, program, and portfolio. For this purpose, a large number of processes, tools, techniques, standards, and knowledge are used in order to sharpen the skills of the staff working on a project (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017). This would help in the management and achievement of the project goals. There are many benefits may be both intangible and tangible in nature. Since the FIFA World Cup 2018 has a large non-conformance cost which can affect the overall cost, OPM can be used to lower down this cost. In addition to this, it can improve the project margin and cash flow. This would help the manager to carry out most of their functions timely and effectively. All this would ultimately result in the customer satisfaction.

  • Lean Six Sigma : Lean six sigma methodology is famous among the project managers as it outlines and promotes maximising the value of the consumer while reducing the wastage of resources. FIFA World Cup 2018 is a billion dollars project and it would be hard to get it complete within the allotted budget if the wastage of the resources is not minimised. Lean Six Sigma method is best suited for this kind of big events. It improves the quality by reducing the wastage along with the cost and time.
  • Muda emphasises reducing the overall waste and highlights those activities that barely add any value to the project. These wastes can be associated with the physical wastage of time and other resources. In the context of FIFA World Cup, seven waste have been highlighted that are associated with inventory, transport, the motion of machine and people, waiting period for availability of machine and material, defects in the products, over-processing, and overproduction.
  • Mura : Mura emphasises more on eliminating the variation that occurs in the process’s workflow. This variation can be removed both at the operational and scheduling level in order to maintain the flow of the work.
  • Muri : The process is all about removing the overload in order to keep up the pace of the work. While working to organise a big event like FIFA 2018, workers may feel overloaded, stress, and anxious. This can be due to poor organisation, using inappropriate tools, and unclear scope of work.

The lean six sigma approach is based on a certain important set of principles that are: specifying a value by the consumer, identification of the value stream, making the flow continuous, allowing consumers to grab values from the upstream activities, and managing the pace by eliminating the redundant process (Morgan& Brenig-Jones, 2015).


In this project report, a deep discussion on lean project management was done in the context of FIFA World Cup 2018. The overview of the event was given and how lean management can reduce the wastage and improve the efficiency was talked about. The various ways of employing the lean strategy were talked about in brief. In addition to this, various terms that are crucial for the project managers working on FIFA 2018 were explained. These terms were Critical to Customer Requirements (CCR), Voice of the Customer (VOC) and Critical to Quality Parameters (CTQ). Later on, the report also explained how the lean approach can be used in organising FIFA 2018. The report ended after explaining the lean project management approaches and tools.


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