EPM Live Takes a Look at the 2012 Olympics – The Ultimate Project?

Just like many of you, I’ve been trying to keep up with the 2012 Olympics. I love watching all the best athletes in the world compete for the gold. The Olympics is a massive production with endless details ranging from Olympic hosting bidding wars to volunteers to designing and constructing the award podiums. Through all the excitement and controversies I can’t help but think about Project and Portfolio Management (PPM). Is the Olympic production the ultimate project?

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the paramount authority for the Olympic movement. The IOC governs all parties in the Olympic family including the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Sports Federations (IFs), the athletes, the Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs),  the top partners, broadcast partners and United Nations agencies. Just from this point of view there are 7 different planning committees responsible for governing different projects and tasks that have to work together and be able to share information, resources and report on financials.

Here’s a few of the 2012 Olympic project items the Olympic Committees had to manage:

Project Start dates:

July 2003 Countries began submitting bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

July 2005 final selection made.

2005 – 2012 venue planning and construction.

July 2012 games begin. 

Project Execution Dates:

July 25th – Aug. 12th


The 2012 Summer Olympic Games is using a mixture of new venues, existing and historic facilities, and temporary buildings designed only for the Olympics equaling a total of 43 venues spread throughout the UK.


£9.3 billion of public sector funding ($11.5 billion).


240,000 applications received in 2010, and an estimated total of around eight million volunteer hours will be clocked during the 18 days of the Olympics.


Roughly 10,000 officers will be used and supported by 13,500 members of the British Armed Forces, Royal Naval and Royal Air Force.


8 million tickets available for purchase.

Total Medals:

A total of 4,700 medals have been produced.

Countries participating:

204 Countries represented at the games.

Olympic Athletes:  

Around 10,500 athletes will participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Sports involved:

36 Olympic Sports

Each of the above categories needs Project Portfolio Management (PPM). A strategic plan must be in place to manage all the resources, costs, issues and risks, plus time and reporting. Without proper PPM could the Olympics be doomed? I think so!

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a set of business practices that bring projects together into tight integration with other business operations synchronizing strategies, resources and executive oversight. PPM provides the structure and processes for project portfolio governance. Without a suitable PPM system any project of this magnitude would be impossible. EPM Live provides one of the most robust solutions on the market today; it makes PPM easy even for an Olympic committee. In 2010 EPM Live donated project software to The Special Olympics World Winter Games Committee. EPM Live helped them improve their project management by allowing each venue to manage their tasks independently and had the ability to report their project status to one enterprise site. 

As the games begin to wind down for spectators a huge project is just beginning for another Olympic sub-committee, the closing ceremony. Can you imagine the detail and planning that will have gone into the closing ceremony? I can’t wait to see it in all its glory but what will be most impressive to me is the evidence of all the hard work and project planning.