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Beyond the legacy of megaprojects

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On 11th November 2016 an Oxford Major Programme Management Conference, was held at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. The theme of the 2016 conference was: ‘Legacy of Major Programmes: Making Good on our Promises’. Some of the speaker on the conference were Brendan Bechtel (Chief Executive Officer of Bechtel), Professor Bent Flyvbjerg (BT Chair in Major Programme Management, Oxford Saïd), Rt. Hon. Dame Margaret Hodge (MP, UK Parliament) and Andrew Wolstenholme (OBE, FREng, Chief Executive Officer of Crossrail).

20161111_164713Durring the conference a Panel discussion was held with the topic: Women in Leadership – Improving Diversity on Major Programmes. Two important topics were addressed: willingnes to risk and confidence, as important atributes of leader. Most of the participants of the conference were senior project leaders across private and public sector. The expectation of the conference was that participants shared their experience and their expertise with others, so there were some strong discussions about what is left behing enormous infrastructure megaprojects. Now we need to think about future in megaprojects, so we could find actions.

jaExcellent discussion was held on the legacy of megaprojects. There is a need to increase competences on the stakeholder management. Also, cross cultural consideration should be considered. There should be raised open discussion about teams and project managers coming from different cultures. The importance to evaluate megaprojects is even more important because the difference between cost and value is crucial. We are in the critical need of sharing the real data. Stakeholder participation is important element for success of project management on megaprojects. Many megaprojects are addressed without this knowledge (knowledge about competence of people).

Important key point for future of megaproject management is for sure standardizing megaprojects trough methodology and some core concept. In that point of view IPMA can offer crucial knowledge about competences of people and organizations trough IPMA ICB and IPMA OCD standards. As a world’s first International PM Organization established in 1965 (we celebrated 50 Anniversary this year), IPMA is leading the way of managing projects through competence, knowledge and performance. IPMA is a Federation of more than 60 Member Associations (MAs) and represents the world’s first global project management association and it is the authority on competent project, programme and portfolio management. Sharing and learning are the key drivers for understanding megaprojects. It is a question of how to apply concept of megaprojects into different context, where there is a crucial importance of information sharing in megaprojects. Following that facts, IPMA’s practice covers three aspects of megaprojects trough:

IPMA ICB4 standard proves its value for practitioners and stakeholders. IPMA OCB is standard for organizations. It highlight PM knowledge, and the key competences expected from managers of projects, programmes and portfolios. The IPMA recognizes the importance of megaprojects in delivering the needs of the society and the complex challenges that they present in project delivery. More and more experts act cross-country and therefore are interested in an international exchange. Therefore, IPMA will initiate the 2nd Megaprojects SIG in Poreč (CROATIA) in September of 2017. importance of megaprojects originates from the fact that the society largely invests in available future resources, so megaprojects create and determine our future. Megaprojects with their performance should serve the community. We cannot predict behavior of people who manage them, but we can try to improve it through competences and learn from the past. For more information about IPMA visit: www.ipma.ch

Moving competent people in megaproject can hopefully move the infrastructure industry forward, although it might seem that it is captured in the past. We need to change society trough successful megaprojects. What legacy do you see beyond infrastructure megaproject?






- Author of this post

Sandra is Assistant to the IPMA President and Executive Director. Since joining IPMA in 2012, Sandra worked in FMCG sector as Customer Business Development Assistant for Procter&Gamble. She holds Master in Economisc from Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb. After graduation she continued at the same University the doctoral programme in Business Economics. Her particular interest in project management is related to megaproject management, PM schools of thoughts and cultural diversity.

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