Looking beyond time and cost influences in megaprojects

Walsh, A and Walker, PA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7267-4632 2020, Looking beyond time and cost influences in megaprojects , in: COBRA at ARES Conference April 2020, 14 – 18 April 2020 (Cancelled due to COVID-19), Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort and Spa - Fort Myers, Florida, USA. (Unpublished)

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Access Information: This paper was accepted for presentation at conference but the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.


In the popular press, coverage of megaproject tends to be dominated by time and cost issues without consideration of other critical project factors. Those taking a more holistic approach have also analysed the wide variety of megaproject characteristics, which may negatively impact on successful delivery. While megaprojects are considered temporary or unique collaborations, it is increasingly common to see recurring themes within megaproject delivery. These include high levels of risk, environmental concerns, leadership challenges, stakeholder commitment, ecological aspects, and cultural challenges, all of which influence whether a megaproject will be - or will not be considered as - success or failure. This paper discusses which are the most commonly identified characteristics related to a megaproject’s success, beyond the widely covered time and cost criteria.
Work over the last decade which has identified the characteristics which are found to exist in specific megaprojects is reviewed, and these findings are thematically analysed to provide a more holistic understanding of the complexities involved in executing megaprojects. Work by others identifies critical characteristics such as strong leadership, risk management, organisational culture, national culture, political and environmental issues, and explores new and emerging directions updating the perception of megaprojects. The inherent intricate inter-relationship of these characteristics is identified, and how these interrelationships add to the complexities of governing such ambitious ventures is discussed. This research finds that although time and cost considerations tend to dominate popular press headlines, the enormity and complexity of many of these ventures makes it increasingly critical to give attention to and articulate other characteristics including risk, culture, stakeholder and management aspects.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Journal or Publication Title: COBRA at Ares 2020 (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
Publisher: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Depositing User: Professor Peter Walker
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2020 11:46
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:20
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56726

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