Continential Airlines Project Management

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Strategic Project Management Paper

University of Phoenix

Week Five Assignment: Strategic Project Management Paper

In 1980, when Continental Airlines was at one of its lowest points, the company’s newest CEO, Gordon Bethune recognized the need for a long-term business strategy to address significant issues that were causing the company to underperform. The creation and focus on the company’s now long standing "Go Forward Plan" lined Continental Airlines up to be a major competitor in the Airline Industry. The company has remained a relevant competitor in the airline industry even through two bankruptcies. Even more amazingly, the company is now considered one of the top 5 airlines in the world. This longevity and success can be contributed to the company’s strategic plan as well as their ability to plan and execute projects.

The company uses projects to attain better results in the areas of customer service, cost control, reliability and employee satisfaction. Therefore, many of the organization’s projects are directly linked to these objectives and goals. The objectives and goals of the company’s strategic plan include: “Fly to Win”, “Fund the Future”, “Make Reliability a Reality”, and “Working Together”. By breaking their strategic goals up into these categories, Continental has been able to develop several projects that really affect their performance and customer satisfaction statistics.

For the company’s first objective, “Fly to Win”, the company developed many goals. To attain these goals, the company developed many projects that would allow the company to perform at a high level of service even as the airline environment changes, while also growing earnings and improving on their specific brand of service (which has been termed the “business/leisure mix”). To do this, Continental sought to increase the number and availability of distribution channels. The company was...