Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2004


Dragan Milosevic

Course Title

Capstone Project

Course Number

EMGT 589/689


Strategic management, Decision making, Project management -- Case studies, Strategic planning


This paper uses a case study approach to analyze the Third Extrusion Project (TEP) in Cerro Matoso S.A (CMSA). The TEP was chosen to be analyzed because of the importance to the company, the quality of the project management, and the impact in CMSA’s business. The analysis was focused on the managerial and organizational aspects, rather than on technical topics. It was based on the Strategic Project Leadership framework proposed by Dr. Aaron Shedar.

BHP Billiton, the parent organization of CMSA, is one of the world’s premier mining companies. Its project management office aims to ensure that the project management processes of BHP Billiton subsidiaries are “best practice” and a source of competitive advantage. CMSA’s mine has one of the highest percentage nickel deposits in the world. This subsidiary has established itself as a low cost reliable supplier of a preferred high quality and low impurities Ferro-Nickel. The TEP will contribute to increase nickel production about 1%, and improve the overall fines handling in the plant.

This project was evaluated on six aspects: leadership, strategy, spirit, adaptation, integration, and learning. The evaluation showed many positives such as: the strong leadership of the project manager, the strategic fit of the project, the high commitment of the owner’s team, the suitable application of project management procedures, the senior management support, and the active participation of the client along the project life cycle. The project was very successful, but there is room for improvement in some areas: contractor selection, lessons learned communication, and cost estimation.

In conclusion, the strategic management applied on this project was very good and contributed to the project success. The TEP was very aligned with CMSA’s strategy of long term sustainability and low production costs. Furthermore, team alignment was possible due to the clear definition of the scope, objectives, and the excellent communication between the owner’s team and the client. The strong matrix organization and the fast-track approach were very beneficial to the project, facilitating the decision making process.


This project is only available to students, staff, and faculty of Portland State University

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