Megaproject Organization and Performance



Book Title: Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality        
Author:  Professor Nuno Gil; Dr. Colm Lundrigan, PhD; Professor Jeffrey K. Pinto; Professor Phanish Puranam
Publisher:  Project Management Institute (PMI)
List Price:  $34.95 USD
Format:  Soft Cover, 170 pages
Publication Date: June 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-176-0
Reviewer:  Sharon R Holland, PMP, PgMP
Review Date: September 2018



Success for any project is measured by its performance and achieved outcomes.  Megaproject Organization and Performance provides insight into the performance challenges encountered on megaprojects, primarily involving infrastructure builds where land acquisition is a component.  The insights shared in this book can, however, give project and program managers, of any large undertaking, ideas and techniques for recognizing, adjusting to and counter acting performance challenges related to stakeholders, and the resources and influence they bring.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Megaproject Organization and Performance consists of five case-study like chapters that attempt to apply mega-organization performance theory to megaproject organizations.  Each chapter provides background on the megaproject being studied, the data collection process, the analytical approach taken by the study group, and a summary of their findings.

Chapters one, through four, focus on real megaprojects in the UK.  It introduces the challenges and complexities of an environment with multiple strategic decision makers that bring their own perspectives of the design and long-term usability of the final product.  It further considers their impact to strategic decisions, and the related performance measures, due to the addition of new members to this core group.

Chapter five switches focus to megaprojects in developing economies where governmental regulations and societal norms are very different from those of more developed nations.  These norms include more opaqueness, and other core group complexities, that result in ever-shifting balances of power and attempts to gain control over project outcomes.  The impact of the absence of foundational rules of fairness is seen in the difficulty of gaining consensus on the product’s scope, and the resulting significant slippages in completion dates and budget.


The book introduces the concept of the Core (pluralistic strategic layer) vs. Peripheral stakeholders (implementation layer).  MegaProject Organization and Performance discusses how the core is formed, and reformed; and how the process of formation can impact strategic decisions which in turn impact implementation.  It considers how the need to obtain decision-making evidence, from the peripheral stakeholders, leads to entering contracts early in the strategic process which inherently locks in design choices that are likely to result in change orders later.


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About the Reviewer

Sharon Holland

North Texas, USA



Sharon R Holland, PMP, PgMP has led projects and programs of all sizes.  She began her career as a programmer with a small financial services software company, where she immediately began managing small projects.  She received formal project management training and significant experience while with Cap Gemini.  With her current employer where she has tenure for 15+ years, and has established PMOs and enterprise resource management, has managed mulitple programs and numerous projects.  Sharon has also facilitated the strategic planning process for two non-profit organizations.  She currently serves on the board of directors for one of those non-profits.

Sharon earned a B.Sc. in Comptuer Science from the University of North Texas and an M.Sc. in Information Systems Management from Boston University.  She earned the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation in May 2000 and the Program Management Professional (PgMP) designation designation in October 2017.

Sharon can be contacted at [email protected] or www.linkedin.com/in/sharonrholland


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