Planning and Management of Mega Projects: Episode #1


By Pavan Sarvepalli


Mega projects involve extensive design and construction requirements, especially from an owner / client perspective. More often than not, mega projects are in whole or part initiated and controlled by government entities. So, much of the decisions are taken to be in sync with the government policies, which in my opinion may be an influence of geo-political considerations / aspirations of the land.  Notwithstanding these facts, irrespective of the undertakings, the challenge lies in emulating and implementing this grand vision to be a reality.

During the process of conceptualization of this article, the one question wavering around my head was – What is it the one feature that majorly differs, when comparing a mega project and a non-mega project? The first answer that propped up included the non-emphasis on an efficient early planning mechanism in the mega projects.  While the titled subject is vast, as a first concept episode, I would attempt to throw some light on aspects related to requirements of an efficient early planning mechanism. This aspect is majorly an outcome derived on my exposure and experience of being engaged in one such mega project.

In my current exposure, the mega project was deficient in an efficient early planning mechanism that would have essentially laid a path to a higher success ratio with respect to the planning and management of a mega project. Whilst the Construction Industry has evolved over the time and has begun to lay importance to more efficient planning techniques, there are instances wherein the whole mechanism of an efficient early planning has not evolved.

This non-adaptation of early planning mechanism in most cases has only resulted in drastic failures and continues to have a knock on effect throughout the project life cycle. The reasons for this consequence may be attributed, but not limited, to the attitude of the stakeholders, the working culture of the land, human resource turnover and the lack of desire to drive these requirements at the ground level. I realized that a mega project is more of a program, requiring an enormous amount of work force to translate the vision into a reality. One important necessity of a mega project, though, is to have an efficient INTEGRATED Master Schedule (IMS). 


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About the Author

pmwj25-aug2014-Sarvepalli-AUTHORPavan Sarvepalli flag-india


Pavan Sarvepalli is working for nearly seven years in the planning / scheduling domain in the Construction industry.  Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and post graduate studies in advanced construction management, Pavan started his professional career only in the year 2007. In his short career, Pavan has had opportunities to work and experience International projects and programs ranging from $ 5 million to over $5 billion. Pavan can be reached at [email protected].