• Paul Barnett

The Causes and Cures of Poor Megaproject Performance

Updated: Dec 5, 2020


New Research by Juliano Denicol, Andrew Davies, and Ilias Krystallis, just published in the Project Management Journal explores “What Are the Causes and Cures of Poor Megaproject Performance?” It is based on a systematic literature review analysing 6,007 titles and abstracts and 86 full papers. The authors identified 18 causes and 54 cures to address poor megaproject performance.

The report introduction notes, “megaprojects are extremely risky ventures, notoriously difficult to manage, and often fail to achieve their original objectives”. That is why they are interesting as an area of focus following the conference the Strategic Management Forum (now part of the Enlightened Enterprise Academy) hosted. “Undaunted: How Successful Leaders Face Up To Wicked Problems and Avoid Predictable Surprises.” in London on March 9th. And among the speakers was Dr David Hancock Director at the UK Government Cabinet Office Infrastructure and Major Projects Authority.


The new report puts the scale of the challenge into some perspective citing research suggesting US$57 trillion would be spent on infrastructure investment between 2013 and 2030 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2013). And a statement made by The Economist (2008) that, “The biggest investment boom in history is under way.” So, we have a lot to lose if we do not improve the outcomes of megaprojects. Critical Systems Thinking and Practice can help ensure better outcomes are realised. Read the Full Story


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