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Megaproject Management: Lessons on Risk and Project Management from the Big Dig by Virginia A. Greiman

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Chapter 4

Governance

On Decision Making—Rien n'est plus difficile, et donc plus précieux, que d'être capable de décider. [Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than being able to decide.]

—Napolean Buonaparte

Introduction

Governance can mean many things in the project management context, and developing a governance framework requires an understanding of the organization of institutions, programs, projects, and procedures. This chapter focuses on the meaning and process of governance in large projects and, in particular, the lessons learned about governance at the Big Dig. In light of the magnitude and technological challenges of megaprojects—and their complex organizational structures—it is remarkable that more has not been written about the governance structure of large-scale projects. Project management has generally focused on the tools and techniques essential to managing projects rather than the underlying systemic framework that is required to make sure that a project's goals and objectives are met. Importantly, in recent years there has been a new focus on governance, with the adoption of international standards by multilateral organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, and the development of project governance standards by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Association for Project Management (APM).

Fundamental to the success of megaprojects is the building of an active public-private ...

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