In the late 1980 Jan Carlzon transformed SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) into the best in Europe from what had been “the sickest of sick men”. He said, “the first 15 second encounter between a passenger and the airline sets the tone of the entire company in the mind of the customer, it is the ‘moment of truth’”.
Similarly, in whatever industry a major project is undertaken, however well the project is delivered, irrespective of time and budget savings, there will come the ‘moment of truth’ when the project becomes part of everyday life and almost instantaneously will become a success or labelled as a failure. The opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow is a classic example – the well-executed project was overshadowed by problems with baggage handling. So much so that the BBC asked: What went wrong at Heathrow’s T5?
Success of transition will be dependent on numerous factors including design, construction, testing and commissioning, recruitment, training and planning.
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