Category Archives: Insights

Insights

Effective vs Efficient

“What I am is something unbearable for the world of clichés; I’m a realist.” Gore Vidal.

When it comes to managing major projects, we strive for “effective and efficient”. It’s a cliché. Thinking about it, effective is a hurdle to get to efficient. Without effective there is no efficient. Research shows that more often than not, major projects don’t clear this hurdle. Read more +

Insights

The Future Management of Large-Scale Projects

Project managers are expected to effectively manage large and complex projects or programmes, but it is widely recognised that these large-scale projects are not always delivered as planned. In liaison with the client, project managers commit to delivering the defined scope, within a forecast time and to a designated budget.

Despite the unavoidable optimism bias of project managers, in which we hear “not my projects, my projects are different”, the statistics around project delivery tell us majority of projects face budget overruns and delays. Nine out of 10 projects go over budget, with time overruns also being a major issue. It is true that some projects are delivered successfully, although the odds are not in favour of large-scale projects. Read more +

Insights

Project Management starts with Philosophy

We think of project management as practical methods, skills, systems and tools for achieving practical and measurable outcomes. However, a project management philosophy underpins this. All forms of human knowledge have a philosophy, as philosophy is the discipline which examines our understanding of the nature of knowledge itself.

Project Management even has a book called the Project Management Book of Knowledge. We believe that when the body of knowledge is applied effectively the results will lead to an outcome which delivers certain benefits, at a certain time within a certain cost limitation. When this does not happen, we mostly focus on the word effectively and our assumption is that more effective application of the existing paradigm is the answer. Thus, we apply more tools, methods, training and processes that are all aimed at effectively implementing a dominant project management philosophy. But what if this doesn’t work very well? Read more +

Insights

We can do a lot better than Airport Infrastructure best practice

Oracle reports that almost US$750 billion in airport construction projects are underway or planned. A recent article on Airport Project Activity canvases best practice for airport planning and construction. We should be in no doubt however, that the odds are that airport projects will not be delivered on time and on budget.

There are some truly fantastic examples of current disasters. Berlin’s new airport continues to surprise even the most pessimistic observers. In May 2019 its forecast cost was US$8 billion, up from the initially scoped US$3 billion, and the opening date is now forecast to be 2020, blowing out from 2007. Berlin is not alone. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) examined 20 European funded airports in 2014. It found that 14 of the 20 experienced significant time overruns, and that significant cost overruns were experienced in nearly half of those examined. To make matters worse, the ECA report found only half of the audited airports succeeded in increasing their passenger numbers and improvements in customer service were either not measured or not evidenced. Read more +

Insights
Octant AI

My AI vision for mega projects

My vision for building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for the mega projects and major programme community started years before I co-founded Endeavour Programme.

My AI invention, Octant AI, helps mega project and major programme deliverers, sponsors, owners and financiers everywhere to reduce time and cost overruns. Octant AI does this by using powerful machine learning technology that finds patterns in huge volumes of project data to spot problems earlier and more accurately than human experts. The technology then advises leaders how to bring the project back on track. Read more +