When do megaprojects start and finish? Redefining project lead time for megaproject success

Yamasaki Sato, Carlos Eduardo and Chagas Jr., Milton de Freitas (2014) When do megaprojects start and finish? Redefining project lead time for megaproject success. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 7 (4). pp. 624-637. ISSN 1753-8378

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose to redefine the concept of project lead time (PLT) to
encompass the time between the project initial idea and the moment in which success is being assessed, which can be beyond the project close-out, using whatever criteria is appropriate for the stakeholder at that moment in time. The conventional project life cycle does not count for the long-term effects of the megaproject, which can have a significant impact on its perception of success. Thus the megaproject life cycle should include a significant part of the operational life cycle of the end product or result, and the criteria of success should include the long-term benefits of the project (measured along various years after the delivery of the end product or result).

Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses three illustrative cases of megaprojects: Airbus A380, London Heathrow Terminal 5 and London Olympic Games 2012. These megaprojects, despite their problems in achieving objectives of time, cost and quality (the triple constraint), can be viewed as success or failure depending on the performance and benefits of the resulting product/infrastructure analysed over a long period of time after its delivery.

Findings – In order to reconcile the usual distinction between project and product life cycle, and the various definitions of success in different moments of the project/product life cycle, the authors propose to redefine the concept of PLT to encompass the time between the project initial idea and the moment in which success is being assessed, beyond the project close-out, using any criteria which is appropriate for the stakeholder at that moment in time.

Originality/value – When assessing the success of the megaproject it is important to define the PLT under which success is being assessed. As pointed out earlier, in findings, the authors propose to redefine the concept of PLT to encompass the time between the project initial idea and the moment in which success is being assessed, beyond the project close-out, using any criteria which is appropriate for the stakeholder at that moment in time.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Project management, Project success, Megaprojects, Project lead time, Project life cycle, London 2012
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit > SPRU Working Paper Series
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T0173.2 Technological change
Depositing User: Carlos Sato
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2014 09:26
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2014 09:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43123
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