Was the “The Royal Wedding” a project?
by Donald Horsburgh
in Blog
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It was estimated that over a billion people watched the recent royal wedding. With public pressure like that, a budget of £32 million and the massive risk of international terrorism interrupting the ceremony the average business project pales into insignificance by comparison.

In terms of numbers though even some of the minor statistics were quite staggering, 28,000 canapes, a thousand staff, 200,000 flowers, 16,000 glasses of champagne and 8 million flower petals.

New Zealand Herald

But was it a project? Lets look at the PMI's (Project Management Institute) definition of a project:

It's a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

  • A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.
  • And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So, a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.

Does the Royal Wedding meet that criteria? Well from planning to the end of the evening reception and subsequent clean-up operations it undoubtedly was a temporary endeavour with unique result. Certainly, I wish the new couple success and cannot anticipate a repeat of the wedding at the same venue…!

It brought together a diverse team of people who don't usually work together from all around the world. The team (and guests) followed a unique set of operations from the ceremony to the evening reception to complete the project. The event even exhibited some of the typical issues of any project from the schedule overrun created by Reverend’s Curry’s passionate sermon to the last-minute loss of a key resource (Meghan’s father) mitigated by Prince Charles’s stepping in to walk the bride up the aisle.

To conclude I would argue that the wedding matches the description of a project.