5 Rules for Managing Megaprojects

10550128475?profile=RESIZE_400xMegaprojects have a substantial influence on the economic activity, productivity, social peace, and environment of a nation.  Estimates indicate that 90 percent of Megaprojects are completed late and beyond budget.  Such overruns have an effect not just on a country's budget but also on other factors.

These overruns are caused by technical difficulties, revisions in design and operational requirements, a rise in expenses, disputes over accountability, and new legislation.  The greater the complexity of a project, the more difficult it is to forecast the obstacles, shifting conditions, and unforeseen possibilities that may arise.

Megaprojects are often described as endeavors costing $1 billion or more, requiring many years to conceive and construct, involving several public or private parties, and touching millions of people.

On 6 London megaprojects, research was undertaken with the purpose of synthesizing norms for managing projects, especially megaprojects.  Multiple academic institutions, including University College London, University of Queensland Business School, and Imperial College London, collaborated on the study.

The study benefited from previous, contiguous, and ongoing research conducted by one or more of the authors of the study under evaluation.  The whole duration of the study exceeded 10 years.

High-Speed 1, Heathrow Terminal 5, Infrastructure for the 2012 London Olympics, Crossrail, Heathrow Terminal 2, and the Thames Tideway Tunnel project were among the megaprojects examined in depth.

The management strategy for Megaprojects was shown to benefit from the following 5 rules:

  1. Evaluate previous success factors.
  2. Allow for surprise occurrences.
  3. Test and try first.
  4. Adjust and distribute risks aptly.
  5. Employ Innovation from beginning to the end.


The rules obtained are relevant not just to the management of megaprojects, but also to the management of smaller projects.  Despite the complexity of large projects with high stakes, the 5 easy rules can help improve their effectiveness.  These criteria allow for adaptability while preserving the stability required to execute projects successfully.

Let's examine some of the rules in a little more detail.

Evaluate previous success factors

This activity involves examining different project sectors and research organizations in order to apply what is learned to one's own project.  It also includes documenting, assessing, and collecting one's own prior experiences and applying them to the current endeavor.

This practice constitutes examining case studies and visiting other project locations.  Additionally, it utilizes Subject Matter Experts to assist with evaluations.

Prepare for surprise occurrences

This rule is about maintaining flexibility and adaptation in teams and contracts to deal with unanticipated occurrences.  Adapting behaviors to successfully deal with unexpected occurrencess and sharing risks in order to accommodate the element of surprise in projects are other components of this strategy.

Test and try first

This rule requires simulation and modeling in order to assess solutions quickly and cheaply.  It also necessitates prior rehearsal in order to generate answers with little flaws.  Trials are undertaken off-site in order to glean a wealth of essential insights that allow Risk Mitigation and Planning in advance.  On-site testing and trials guarantee a seamless transition to the operations team.  

Interested in learning more about Managing Megaprojects?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Managing Megaprojects here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro LibraryFlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Global Risk Community to add comments!

Join Global Risk Community

    About Us

    The GlobalRisk Community is a thriving community of risk managers and associated service providers. Our purpose is to foster business, networking and educational explorations among members. Our goal is to be the worlds premier Risk forum and contribute to better understanding of the complex world of risk.

    Business Partners

    For companies wanting to create a greater visibility for their products and services among their prospects in the Risk market: Send your business partnership request by filling in the form here!