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MBA project management case studies


Today, businesses have become more complex than they were a decade ago. Companies often find themselves struggling to complete projects due to the complexities. Management is the most important for every company. The project management team has to balance deadlines, expenses, human resources, and whatnot. That’s why project management is a skill that every company values. No matter what business a company does, it will need specialists to ensure its projects achieve their expected results.

If you want to become a specialist in this field, simply reading and memorizing your textbooks is not enough. You must go the extra mile and study the real-life success stories of MBA project management.

You might also enjoy reading interesting MBA case studies you should know

Importance of case studies for project management students

Students pursuing their MBA in project management must dive deep into relevant case studies. When you complete your MBA, people will know you as the expert who helps businesses complete their projects successfully. But, to truly gain expertise, you must understand the real-time application of the concepts of project management. Studying some real-world cases in MBA project management can help in understanding how project management works and how it can transform businesses. 

Moreover, studying these MBA case studies will give you an edge over other students. As you understand the subject better, your performance will automatically improve in exams. 

Top 20 project management case studies

Here are 20 interesting case studies that highlight the lessons learned from MBA Project Management. You can use management tools to understand project management case studies better.

  1. AstraZeneca During Covid 19

AstraZeneca was under pressure during the pandemic to develop and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible. The company needed to work in collaboration with Oxford University for the research and the clinical trials.

AstraZeneca created an effective project management infrastructure to face challenges like establishing an internal government contracting organization, finding personnel for vaccine development, and amping up the manufacturing facility.

  1. Vodafone

Vodafone had to replace its current network with a GLAN (Global Local Area Network) in 42 cities. Vodafone used a project management approach that included workshops, the creation of resource and risk management plans, and tailored project documentation for this project. The project was completed by the given deadline.

  1. British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Massive floods destroyed the roads connecting British Columbia to the rest of Canada. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure used a project management approach based on ‘A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge’ to repair and reopen the roads quickly. They identified the most crucial paths, assessed risks, and managed several aspects of the project in just 35 days.

  1. Hospital El Pilar

This hospital in Guatemala was facing challenges within its technology department that worked to develop tech solutions for the hospital. They had trouble prioritizing projects, had a lack of visibility, and had little to no interaction with the technology users. The hospital overcame these challenges by using project management concepts.

  1. Saudi Aramco

This oil company in Saudi was managing two ambitious oil and gas programs called Marjan and Zuluf. The biggest challenge was to manage multiple contractors working simultaneously on the congested oil fields. Their project team tackled this challenge by simplifying construction, using contracting strategies and marine management techniques.

  1. Lighthouse Labs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lighthouse Labs had to scale their operations quickly to help the Scottish Government meet the COVID testing requirements. They had to scale 16 times in 3-4 months, which would normally take years. They achieved this using the Theory of Constraints, the PDCA cycle, and project management techniques.

  1. Gordie Howe International Bridge

A non-profit-making company was in charge of building a six-lane bridge between the USA and Canada. It was one of the largest projects in North America. The organization took the help of a project management company to complete this project using their knowledge and expertise in the domain.

  1. Fujitsu

Famous MNC Fujitsu needed excellent project managers within the company. Their 2-year training program did not work due to a lack of the latest project management content and failure to address the concerns of trainees. The company developed an innovative ‘Early-Career Development Framework,’ using rotational assignments in project management, along with training.

  1. Panama Canal

The Panama Canal had to be expanded in 2014. This project was worth nearly 7% of the country’s GDP. The management had to balance construction, contractors, the site’s biological environment, and finances. The team had to use several project management elements to do this.

  1. London Olympics 2012

The UK government had the challenge of preparing the country for the 2012 Olympic Games within time. They had to prepare world-class sports facilities along with amenities needed for viewers and visitors. It is one of the biggest examples of project management, where over 2,60,000 project managers worked on this project.

  1. Apple iPhone

The project of developing and launching Apple’s iPhone is one of the most important ones in history. The company spent $150 million on this project, which turned out to be its best investment. The main challenges in managing this project were hiring the best talent, maintaining high quality, and keeping the project a secret despite so many people working on it.


It is an example of the consequences of poor project management. Due to a lack of proper planning and coordination, the website could only register six users out of 4 million on its launch day.

  1. Nike Supply Chain Project

I2 Technologies was assigned a project to create supply chain management software for Nike. The project was not properly planned or executed. It took more time than expected, burned Nike’s financial resources, and affected Nike’s profits and stock.

  1. Whirlpool

Whirlpool’s project management team had to manage 400 projects across 5 regions worldwide. The company’s senior planning engineer created an effective project management system that integrated these projects, improved visibility, and communicated with senior management.

  1. Challenger

The USA developed a space shuttle named Challenger that exploded shortly after it was launched. The mission was not properly managed. It got delayed multiple times, the funds weren’t enough, and the quality was not tested properly.

  1. World Athletics Championship 2019

This renowned event in Doha failed to sell a significant amount of tickets for its events. The athletes had to witness empty stands with no spectators. Hence, the management was heavily criticized. This happened due to poor project management.

  1. Waterworld

This Hollywood movie failed at the box office. This project was poorly managed on the finance front. It overran its budget, and the project managers did not handle the situation well. This caused a poorly made movie that failed to impress audiences.

  1. Airbus A380

The development of Airbus A380  turned out to be too expensive, and the launch of this aircraft was delayed multiple times, further increasing its costs. After using project management strategies, the project was successfully launched.

  1. Netflix

Netflix completed its project of developing original streaming content in 2017. Netflix spent its $10 million budget successfully and developed content that appealed to the tastes and preferences of its viewers through excellent project management. It also used unique marketing strategies to launch this project successfully.

  1. Sydney Opera House

Constructing the seemingly unreal Sydney Opera House was a challenge back in the 1950s. This was a 4-year project initially, which got stretched to almost 10 years. However, it was completed despite problems in the design, budget concerns, and leadership changes.

Also read: Career prospects after an MBA in Healthcare Management

Things to consider before choosing your case study

It is imperative not to choose a random case study for your research. Consider these 3 important things while picking one.

  1. Your course syllabus

Choose a case study related to what you have learned during your course. For example, if you have the topic ‘project risk management,’ look for a case study that highlights how important risk management is for a project. Also, consider the challenges in MBA Project Management while selecting the case study.

  1. Your area of interest

Project management is a vast field. Ask yourself- what interests you the most. Go through your textbook and find out which areas you found most interesting during your course. If your case study aligns with that area, you will have fun reading about the best practices for MBA project management.

  1. Relevance in today’s world

Ideally, choose a recent and relevant case study. Sometimes, older case studies may not be as relevant as they were in their times. Choose one that can be applied in the current work environment.

Before enrolling, you must analyze If an MBA worth it in 2024. Pros & cons explained

Project management career with an online MBA from MUJ

MBA with Project Management elective is a fully online MBA program offered by Manipal University, Jaipur. This university is NAAC A+ accredited and is ranked among India’s top 15 universities for management. You do not need to have previous work experience for this degree. Read in detail about online MBA in India, a flexible and affordable alternative.

 Here’s a glimpse into the basic details of this course.

Duration24 months
Hours per week15-20

Also read: How to upskill and find a job after a career break?


Project management is a skill that all companies need. If you successfully become a highly skilled professional in this field, you can work with some of the best companies around the world. MBA in Project Management is a gateway to a lucrative career, and with an online course, you can acquire the knowledge and skills required to excel in various aspects of the field. 




Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

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