He says these biases can occur in delivering multi-billion-pound infrastructure projects, to planning a family holiday. Whether it’s an unshakable belief you have all the answers (you don’t), ignoring the odds (at your peril) or throwing money at the problem (you’ll waste it), Bent Flyvbjerg, Oxford Saïd’s BT Professor and Chair in Major Programme Management Emeritus, has uncovered ten key assumptions and beliefs that can affect decision-making and undermine successful delivery.
Megaprojects need to have modularity in design and speed in delivery if they are to succeed. This is especially important in the face of the climate crisis because many climate projects overlook this crucial insight, placing humankind at fatal risk of not meeting its 2030 and 2050 climate goals.
Research by Bent Flyvbjerg, Emeritus Professor at Saïd Business School and the Villum Kann Rasmussen Professor and Chair of Major Program Management at the IT University of Copenhagen, has shown that there are two factors which decide the fate of any megaproject.
Time and cost overruns are a well-known feature of major infrastructure and IT projects around the world. Hitting the headlines regularly are reports of budgets spiraling out of control, and projects completing months or years past their proposed launch dates, negatively impacting companies, cities or even whole economies.
After years of construction delays and safety problems, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will finally open its doors on 31 October 2020. It will be nine years late and nearly £4 billion over budget. Locals have called the project a national embarrassment, as it took decades to complete and drained public money while damaging Germany’s reputation for engineering excellence.
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