Megaprojects article series – read our latest thinking

Explore all four articles in our latest series on megaprojects, by Connor Butler, Billy Glennon, Chauncey Bell and Charles Spinosa.


A megaproject is a capital project costing $1billon or more. The Egyptian pyramids were megaprojects, so was the Parthenon. There have been many thousands since, and there will be many more. We place megaprojects on the skyline and look up to them for decades, even centuries. They are monuments to human progress. We need them because they showcase our greatness.


But there is one other thing we all know about megaprojects. The overwhelming majority of them overrun and overspend. Indeed, the economic geographer Bent Flyvbjerg says that just 0.8 per cent of megaprojects in the past 90 years have been delivered on time, on budget and with all the promised benefits. Some say that is simply the nature of megaprojects. They’re complex. Things go wrong. Don’t be distracted by a bit of over-spending, just keep digging.


The authors of these articles disagree. We have successfully steered megaprojects that have been delivered on time, on budget and with all the promised benefits. And we also know how to apply those insights to any capital projects of significant scale.


Our thought leadership explains how to do this through three key steps: transformational leadership, transformational governance, the sharing of risks and rewards, and what we call commitment-based management.


This approach takes you far beyond traditional project management thinking based on causal chains and role definitions. It recognises the error in blaming the estimator. It understands that the complexity of megaprojects means that introducing enhanced managerial controls is not the solution.


Instead, it demonstrates that running a megaproject is like running a small town. You need transformational leadership and governance to build a strong community. You have to share risks and rewards and build promises between people. You have to transform narrow, calculating actors into good neighbors.


Follow this thinking and you can do what we did with when we shaved 30% off megaproject costs for one international client, enabling them to remain competitive in an industry they were being priced out of. That’s what integrated project delivery with commitment-based management offers. And we can share it with you.


You can explore all four articles in the series below, and for a complimentary copy of our report How To Fix Megaprojects (And All Capital Projects That Matter), email Mark Crampton.


You can also listen to our Megaprojects podcast series here.


Article one: Why megaprojects matter, even when they go wrong


Article two: Why megaprojects can fail, and how to start thinking about fixing them.


Article three: How to fix megaprojects


Article four: Why our megaproject fix works