Many projects experience severe delays and cost overruns. This is true in a wide range of industries and in the private or public sectors. When these big projects run into trouble, they can inflict major financial losses and risks on the companies.
In order to complete their large projects on time and within budget, companies typically rely on contracts with aggressive timelines and fixed delivery dates. But these strict contracts can often backfire, setting up an adversarial and conflicted relationship between companies and their contractors, and at the same time, creating a high-pressure environment that stresses both processes and resources. Many large projects suffer from low productivity, faulty planning, and poor collaboration between contractors and companies.
Success in large project management depends on timely and accurate decision making. Large project schedules and completion dates are too often based on managerial ambitions, contractual objections, or even wishful thinking. These schedules quickly become detached from reality and lose all credibility. To make these decisions, companies need complete transparency into the detailed workings of the large project. They cannot get achieve this without first building an open and collaborative relationship with contractors who feel comfortable sharing information in real time about both successes and problems.
Our team believe that in any successful large project, three key ingredients are essential: credibility, transparency and collaboration. Effective large capital project management depends on breaking through organizational boundaries to enable cross-functional trust, collaboration and radical transparency. An effective approach is a sort of digital situation room, bringing together everyone involved and discussing status, processes, routines, and leveraging the effectiveness of digital tools. Instead of blaming messengers who share bad news, managers should reward employees who bring issues to their attention so they can devote all necessary resources to find innovative solutions.