The Three Secrets of Megaproject Success

Clear Strategic Vision, Total Alignment, and Adapting to Complexity

Past studies have often voiced concern that important megaprojects have repeatedly failed due to extensive overruns, misunderstanding of expectations, or both. In this article, we contend that this pattern may not be inevitable. In retrospect, despite painful delays, some megaprojects eventually achieved their longer-term objectives. In this study, rather than asking why megaprojects fail, we asked whether these notable (and rare) accomplishments have anything in common. We found that successful megaprojects are distinguished by three major elements: clear strategic vision, total alignment, and adapting to complexity.
member content locked

Become a PMI member to gain access

or Join

Advertisement

Advertisement

Related Content

  • PM Network

    Tapping Out member content open

    By Greengard, Samuel Offshore oil rigs are going offline. Depressed prices, rising operating costs, aging equipment and, most importantly, tapped out wells have all contributed to a perfect storm: the need to…

  • Project Management Journal

    The Successful Delivery of Megaprojects member content locked

    By Locatelli, Giorgio | Mikic, Miljan | Kovacevic, Milos | Brookes, Naomi J. | Ivanisevic, Nenad Megaprojects are often associated with poor delivery performance and poor benefits realization. This article provides a method of identifying, in a quantitative and rigorous manner, the…

  • PM Network

    Restart To Finish member content open

    By Parsi, Novid The reboot needed a reboot. That's what the U.S. state of Wisconsin concluded after its first attempt to overhaul the government's antiquated and fractured IT system failed. With costs rising and…

  • PM Network

    Do Look Down member content open

    By Ali, Ambreen Here's a winning formula to take tourists to new heights: Build glass skywalks. Last year a burst of construction projects in China hoisted walkways alongside dramatic cliffs, atop skyscrapers and…

  • Applying the principles of system dynamics to project risk management or "the domino effect" member content open

    By Gray, Mark | Shahidi, Azin System dynamics (SD), as a method for understanding the complex interactions within a system, has been successfully applied to problems from understanding the spread of disease to modeling…

Advertisement