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Caldas, C and Gupta, A (2017) Critical factors impacting the performance of mega-projects. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 24(06), 920-34.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: risk management; project management; construction planning
  • ISBN/ISSN:
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-05-2016-0117
  • Abstract:
    Purpose Mega-projects (MP) are important not only to the stakeholders involved in their development and construction, but also to the societies, economies, and environments impacted by them. Given the importance of MP and the prevailing trend toward poor performance, the purpose of this paper is to identify changes in project development and execution to increase the likelihood of success on MP. Design/methodology/approach The researchers performed an extensive literature review in the initial phase. Then, interviews with experienced mega-project professionals were conducted to gather information on factors contributing to success and failure on MP. A detailed survey was then carried out to quantify and assess the frequency and impact levels of these factors. Finally, case studies were performed to analyze the manifestations of these impact factors on MP and identify mitigation strategies. Findings After gathering data from more than 100 projects, the researchers identified and prioritized 34 factors that have high frequency and negative performance impacts on MP, categorizing them into five categories. These factors were then used to create a mega-project preparedness assessment process and a lessons learned repository around these factors, which includes factor descriptions, examples from actual projects, and recommendations. The result is a structured method for enabling comprehensive mega-project risk management and mitigation planning. Originality/value The research has gone beyond any previous generic lessons learned, to enable project teams to make structured assessments of critical mega-project impact factors. Assessing these impact factors will enable more accurate and thorough mitigation planning for them and, thus, improve mega-project performance.