Making innovation happen in a megaproject

London's crossrail suburban railway system

Pockets of project innovation, such as the novel solution used to redesign the Velodrome roof during the London 2012 Olympics, have been few. However, there have been few, if any, systematic efforts to manage innovation in a megaproject. This paper presents the initial findings of an ongoing three-year action research project between Crossrail and researchers at Imperial College London and University College London. Action research is well suited to a setting where an intervention is required to diagnose and solve an organizational problem and produce scientific findings (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Van de Ven, 2007). Our engagement with Crossrail aimed to formulate and implement a four-staged innovation strategy to improve the performance and outcomes of the project. Our intervention addressed the final two stages, what we call the engaging window and the leveraging window, when we assisted in the development and implementation of an innovation strategy.
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