Project Management Institute

Balancing open and closed innovation in megaprojects

insights from Crossrail

We studied the interplay between open and closed innovation at Crossrail, Europe's largest civil engineering project -- aiming to build a suburban railway system in London. Our findings suggest that open and closed innovation can be combined by creating an appropriate communication and exchange environment, whose elements include organizational arrangements (e.g., team organization and task assignment) and methods and rules of communication. We also found that innovation in megaprojects can be successfully driven when the contractors are encouraged to search for and implement incremental solutions to minor problems, not just radical and strategically relevant innovations.
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