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Titanic Project Management Lessons From History Case Solution

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2148 1562 Words (7 Pages) Marco Sampietro SDA Bocconi : 316-0409-1
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The main marketing focus was centered on the notion of Titanic's luxury and size, which led to everything else, including safety measures being secondary. Not enough thought or planning went into ensuring safety protocols, given the need to prioritize comfort and luxurious accommodations. 

V shaped hulls were commonly used, which ensured speed, but U-shaped hulls were decided for the Titanic to enhance capacity and ensure more room available for the passengers. This compromise on speed prevented the ship from turning away from the iceberg quickly

Case Study Questions Answers

3. Double hulls were in the initial design to ensure extra safety, but these double hulls were later only included at the bottom, instead of being all overall coverage for the ship to augment strolling space for passengers. 

4. Lifeboats were reduced from 64 to 32 to grant excessive strolling space for upper-class passengers and allow them better views, which were initially being blocked by the extra lifeboats. This led to the iceberg disaster being more catastrophic, given the casualties. 

5. Initially, 15 bulkhead walls were in the design, which prevented the dining room from holding the record of being the largest room in a ship. This was then fixed by reducing the size of 3 bulkhead walls, which led to lower safeguarding against flooding. 

6. The number of lifeboats was further reduced to 20 to allow more space for decks, viewing areas, and sports. This meant that the ship was following minimal safety requirements, and only half of the passengers (excluding crew) could be safeguarded against the iceberg disaster. 

7. The ship was continuously prided on being "unsinkable" and this was exacerbated to enhance its marketing, which led to arrogance and complacency on the part of the passengers and the crew members responsible to deal with emergencies. Nobody was prepared to even consider the fact that the ship could sink, which enhanced the panic, chaos, and bad decisions during the disaster. 

8. The Olympic had a collision with another ship, which severely damaged it and led to large legal billings, repair costs, and delayed revenues. Instead of treating this as a lesson, the individuals responsible used this to reinforce that their ships are unsinkable. If they took this opportunity to learn from their mistakes, it is possible that better testing and safety precautions would have at least softened the blow of the iceberg disaster. 

9. Testing was done by the ship builders which were related to the ships weight, equipment, and speed. However, none of these tests were related to the influx of water, collision damage or any possible emergency regarding the ship sinking which is why they were so unprepared when disaster struck. 

10. Minimal testing within a single day was undertaken by White Star itself since they were eager to send Titanic to see soon following the unexpected delays. Even the tests conducted at sea were devoid of complicated maneuvering techniques, which are essential in case of emergencies. If the testing was done as per norms, it is possible that problems could have been identified and fixed, which could have prevented the iceberg disaster. 


Risk Event



Risk Score


Specific Response

Hitting an Iceberg





Have more people on the lookout

Poor Communication in Emergency





Establish a proper chain of command

Not Enough Safety Supplies





Get more safety equipment

Staff Complacency Given “Unsinkability”





Appoint a third-party workforce manager responsible

Lost Control Due to High Speed





Speed cannot be slow, given higher orders.

Source: Alexander & Marshall (2006)


Titanic hitting the iceberg
  1. A large proportion of the crew members were responsible to cater to passenger needs while only a small percentage were mariners who knew how to sail ships. A lot of last-minute changes were also done within senior positions, which led to confusion regarding job roles and accountability and induced more panic after the collision. 

  2. The primary responsibility of the radio operators was to cater to the telegrams being sent by the passengers of the ship who were paying a hefty amount for each transmitted message. Other messages, including weather reports and telegrams from other ships ashore, were kept on a secondary basis, which delayed warnings about the iceberg. 

  3. The crew was fully aware of ice dangers and had known about numerous iceberg warnings prior to departure. They were also aware of ships that had recently collided with icebergs within the same timeframe but chose to disregard those. 

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