Experts Question MBS’ Rush

Posted: May 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

11th May 2010

A special review by Professional Ground on a story reported by local press

A good report by Straits Times

Today, The Straits Times (Singapore) has published an interesting report “Experts question MBS’ rush to open”, with regard to last week’s big booboo created by the world’s “unmatched service” provider – Marina Bay Sands; for the Inter-pacific Bar Association’s conference held at MBS convention centre.   (Refer to this blog, another report).

Here are some of the interesting remarks made to the Straits Times correspondents, as reported.

“For projects of such scale, teething problems during the opening are to be expected…”  —  Singapore Toruism Board spokesman

(What it may mean:  Some failures are expected anyway… it’s acceptable norms, so it’s nobody’s fault)

“We are going to open when it’s right, when everything’s perfect, when everything’s right.”  —  Mr. Adelson, Sands

(What it may mean:  Regardless, I want it to open on the date!)

An MBS spokesman did not comment on its apparent rush to open, but said the “majority” of its guests had no complaints.

(What it means:  What’s the big deal?)

When asked, two experts put things in much better viewpoints and  right perspectives as reported in the Straits Times,

“It was a risk they took.  Somebody in management would have made the call that things were ready.  I’m sure they tested the place.  Maybe the tests weren’t as thorough as they would have liked.”  —  Associate Professor Chan Weng Tat (Dept. of Civil Engineering, national Unoversity of singapore).

“This is definitely not the right way to open one of the biggest attractions ever built in Singapore.  At the end of the day, it is Singapore’s image that’s at stake, because the world sees the IRs as a ‘national’ initiative.”  —  Felix Ling (chief Consultant, Platform Asia).

For people who experienced the “teething problems” at Marina Bay Sands (or at Resorts World Sentosa) and those who learned about such “teething problems” from news reports over the past two months about Singapore IRs, one may logically start asking the following questions:

–  Must every mega project today, even with better technologies, would end up with a booboo in launching (opening) because this is truly unavoidable?  (Would NASA or China’s space programs planners hold such a notion and mindset and therefore they don’t mind the rush?  Note that they run much more complex projects).

–  For matters of national pride/image, would commercial decision simply be allowed to override risk management and expected standards/tests?  

–  Some may even ask this biggest question:  Will the Korean people allow much more and higher magnitude of teething problems (or bigger failures) for their world’s largest Universal Studios due to open in 2014 in phases?  (That project is 20 X larger than Universal Studios Singapore). 

We think that the answer is clear.  It is about setting the right standards and ensuring planning and execution reflect the true spirit of excellence.  No project is too big or too small; is mindset.

Does the IR project reflects the true spirit of Singapore excellence?

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