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PESTLE Analysis of Project Ballycotton Coursework

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Updated: Jan 15th, 2020


This essay shall analyse the failure of project Ballycotton using the PESTLE analysis. PESTLE analysis involves looking at political, economic, sociological, technical, legal and environmental factors affecting the outcome of a project. Changes in these factors may or may not favour a project outcome.


There are internal politics in every organisation. We can note the presence of organisational politics in opinions and attitudes of different stakeholders in the organisation. However, this depends on where the power of influence is. What is necessary in a situation of organisational politics is to identify and manage them. Internal politics of organisations also exist at personal levels and in team jealousies.

These factors pose severe consequences to a project. Therefore, the project manager must identify and diffuse them. Project outcomes also depend on some other factors like clients, contractors, consultants, state authorities, material and service providers, among others. These bodies may also have their private agendas that eventually affect the outcome of a project (Lester, 2006).

The project Ballycotton exhibits political differences between Michael Higgins and the Irish treasury civil servants over tax cut the film should have. The government’s decision to give a tax relief to the film project is a favourable political condition for the project. However, the political fights between Michael Higgins are factors that if not managed may derail the project.

There are also political factors that the project’s sponsor and manager have no control over. Projects with international influences are likely to suffer disruptions due national or international political complications. Government actions such as changing taxation systems, exchange restrictions, penal working conditions, or even cancellation of the contract in totality affects the project’s outcome.

Countries with unstable economies, government or prone to coups may make the project come to a halt. Project technical team should envisage, evaluate, and plan for such eventualities. At national level, there are also political actions and reactions that may affect the project completion.


Internal economic factors relate to the project viability and soundness. These are factors that are within the project team control. Project team must evaluate both the financial and non-financial gains before embarking on it. Project teams use financial models and proven accountancy techniques to evaluate the project viability (Lester, 2006). Evaluation should be an ongoing process till the end of the project.

However, in the case of Ballycotton project, the team did not use any proven financial models or accountancy techniques to envisage lack of funds before the beginning of the project. In fact, lack of money was the main cause of failure of this project.

The project team could have managed the situation of financial crisis before the actual screening process. They could have considered the decision to abort the project before accruing so much debt (Lock, 2007).

External factors that influence the outcome of a project relate to political situations. Government may decide to increase or reduce its taxation systems, exchange rate, labour laws, among others.

These factors affect the viability of a project. The Irish government lures moviemakers with attractive tax write-off schemes. The case study shows that Irish government can write-off up to 60 percent of the total cost of project production within its tax system. They use this system to attract moviemakers.


Most projects have impacts on the community where the team decides to implement them. Depending on the nature of the project and its consequences, it is necessary for the project manager to inform the community about the project purpose, intent, benefits and any side effects. Therefore, there must be a formal meeting between members of the public and the project representatives.

The project representatives must also take care of pressure groups in society. They must know of the unwanted effects and positive side of the project. However, the project team must also recognise the fact that it cannot satisfy all the demands of these groups, and comprises are necessary from both sides. The project manager must do this to avoid constant disruptions and demonstration from the community.

The Ballycotton project suffers from social issues. The church Bishop refuses to grant permission for the team to use his churches. This is because he did not like some of the script contents where the female character dies under her copulating husband. In addition, the film represents Irish as cheesy with a character called Swill McCool. The verdict of the Bishop threatened the entire process.

The British tabloid paparazzi take advantage of exposing the naked Marlon Brando. This affected his social image as a public figure. Though this is too personal, its impact can bring the entire project to a halt.

Most projects have positive effects on lives of the community they touch. However, the financial constraints of Ballycotton project could not allow the community to see any benefits. In fact, every person and business entity that interacted with the project team suffered setbacks, particularly in financial terms.


Protect must be technically sound to avoid failure. Technology must be in place for the project to start and succeed. Technical aspects of a project require early preparation including risk assessment in order to establish realistically available options (Williams, 2008).

The Ballycotton project hired several options that they never settled their bills. The project team ought to have considered the installations, physical locations, existing facilities, and management team.

The project lacked technical planning, the participants, and business contacts felt that the entire process would eventually fail. The planners did not consider the financial implications of the entire process. This resulted into massive debts and loss of trusts.

Every project must incorporate some legal aspects. The relationships between the parties should be legally binding contracts, which must also comply with the laws. The contracts must be fair to both parties, and any unreasonable terms must be eliminated. All parties must comply with the laws of different countries in cases of international projects.

Project managers must seek legal advice from specialists before undertaking any project. The legal document must focus on established conditions of contract and other standard industry requirements. In addition, it may also address political, legal, and commercial requirements (Baguley, 2000).

Ballycotton project has a weak legal foundation and no money to support it. David Lowe could not raise money for the completion bond. However, the project went on without the bond to the surprise of the lawyers. There are also legal concerns rising due to non-payment of bills and bouncing cheques.


The location of a project influences its costs and time of completion. Projects must take into account the weather patterns of a project location. In the case study, the choice of Ballycotton had cost implication for the project sponsor. In addition to the project team, there was also a crew of 125 people.

The weather patterns were unfavourable for the production processes. The report indicates that the project started badly. The rains followed a summer of blistering sun during the production of the movie.

Reference List

Baguley, P., 2000. Project Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lester, A., 2006. Project Management, Planning and Control. 5th ed. Loughborough: Elsevier Science & Technology Books.

Lock, D., 2007. Project Management. Hampshire: Gower Publishing Limited.

Williams, M., 2008. The Principles of Project Management. Collingwood, Australia: SitePoint Pty Ltd.

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