Tokyo 2020 Operational Readiness case study


Tokyo 2020 case study operational readiness Image: Tokyo 2020 & ikosaeder


The Challenge

The countdown has begun for the most spectacular sporting showpiece on earth – the Olympic Games Tokyo (Japan) 2020 – which will be celebrated from July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24th, 2021 to September 5th, 2021.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, and also known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multisport event to be held in Tokyo, Japan.

The ‘Ikosaeder’ stated that the 2020 Olympics’ footprint was initially projected to considerably increase the demand on existing services and infrastructure in Japan, and organizing the Tokyo Olympics required coordinating a number of delivery partners from public and private sector industries, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan National Government, emergency services, health authorities, private companies, and more.

Given Ikosaeder’s vast combined experience in major program delivery, it was therefore aware of the importance of designing and implementing a robust Operational Readiness strategy for a high-profile international event with visibility like no other: In 2016, the Rio (Brazil) Olympics generated a global TV audience of 3.2 billion, 25,000+ accredited media, 7 billion views of official Olympic content on social media, 270 digital media platforms, 75 billion Twitter impressions, and 1.5 billion Facebook interactions.

Oslo (Netherlands)-headquartered Ikosaeder comprises a team of high-performing professionals who bring together a wealth of experience in delivering complex programs in the sports, events, aviation and transport, healthcare, education, construction, defence, information technology, retail, and fast-moving consumer goods industries. Ikosaeder has delivered complex projects and programs for the last two FIFA World Cups™ in Russia and Brazil, the eight most recent editions of the Olympic Games and a series of top-tier clients in the private sector.

The ‘Ikosaeder’ further stated that Tokyo 2020 was projected to top 2016 figures already without even considering its postponement to 2021 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 which still continues to strangle the world.

In 2017, Ikosaeder began providing a range of consulting services to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee (OCOG) to support their efforts in the preparation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In parallel, following three years of research on the potential of virtual reality (VR) for Operational Readiness, recommending Intel, an IOC Marketing Partner as an ideal delivery partner, and suggested a VR pilot project to explore the benefits and scalability of this technology for Readiness and learning.

The Solution

From the onset, Ikosaeder supported the Organising Committee and their delivery partners to define their Readiness strategy and then went on to develop the Readiness program implementation.

During its engagement, Ikosaeder helped organizers in the development of their Communication, Command and Control (C3) system, the nationwide governance framework required to manage the highly complex operations and crisis response mechanism e.g., pandemic, earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, etc. As far as people capability development is concerned, over the course of the four-year program, Ikosaeder delivered 85+ exercises involving over 7,500 people, and through coaching and collaboration enabled Tokyo 2020 to autonomously deliver 150+ Readiness exercises involving over 10,000 learners. Last but not least, Ikosaeder designed a first-of-its-kind VR Training Programme.

Working across four Operational Readiness streams of activity, geared at different players within the IOC as well as external Partners, it led teams through a roadmap of exercises, from tabletops to simulations to train the trainers.

The Outcome

Ikosaeder obtained a number of significant achievements in the key areas it consulted on:


Operational Readiness and Risk Management:

  • Advocated for the establishment of the Readiness program at the executive level;
  • Engaged delivery partners in the Readiness programme;
  • Built awareness on Operational Readiness;
  • Designed the Readiness strategy;
  • Developed the Readiness programme;
  • Integrated Readiness with risk management activities;
  • Guided the contingency planning process for a multistakeholder crisis response;
  • Developed the Readiness implementation approach; and
  • Designed, developed and delivered the COVID-19 Readiness Programme.


Communication Command Control (C3):

  • Advised on the development of a countrywide Games C3 Governance framework (operational, tactical and executive levels);
  • Facilitated Games stakeholder and delivery partner integration processes;
  • Advised on the design and operational planning of the Tokyo 2020 Main Operation Center, the main hub overseeing Games operations;
  • Designed and delivered large-scale stress testing simulations;
  • Trained teams on crisis management protocols and procedures; and
  • Supported the design and testing of COVID-19 specific C3 structures and information flow protocols.


People Capability Development:

  • Over a four-year period, built the OCOG’s capability enabling Tokyo 2020 to design, develop and deliver its own Operational Readiness programme consisting of 150+ exercises in total, involving 10000+ learners from OCOG and Delivery Partner organizations;
  • Trained Main Operation Center management and executive teams;
  • Delivery of 85+ exercises involving over 7,500 people, driving Readiness and integration across Tokyo 2020 and between the OCOG and Delivery Partners; and
  • Designed, developed and implemented a bespoke VR Training Programme ‘VR Readiness Training Programme’ in cooperation with Intel.


VR Training:

  • Enhanced learning experiences;
  • Qualitative ‘best practice’ training content;
  • Repeatable and scalable;
  • Captures insightful business intelligence;
  • Increased ‘speed to competence’;
  • Better identification of risks and issues; and
  • Increased learner retention.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is the Government of the Tokyo Metropolis. One of the 47 prefectures of Japan, the Government consists of a popularly elected Governor and assembly. The headquarters building is located in the ward of Shinjuku.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit, civil, non-Governmental, international organization made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 percent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organizations at all levels around the world.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is the organization responsible for overseeing the planning and development of the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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