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Communication in Mega-projects: The Consultant’s Perspective (Civil Project)

Today’s large-scale construction projects for can easily be mistaken for a regular project but with an increase in size and cost. However, as projects surpass a point where one manager cannot single handily control the project, conditions change. Many may refer to this as the point when one looses the ‘helicopter perspective’ of the project. What this illustrates is the ability to have a holistic view of the project. This is especially true in projects that are classed as mega-projects.

As societies develop, grow larger and need to support more inhabitants, the need for infrastructure, health-care and other public services grows. With an introduction from Margret Thatcher, the use of Public Private Partnership, PPP, when building megaprojects has become increasingly common and influential all around the world.

These partnerships have led to the possibility of creating projects with larger budgets and fewer legal restraints compared to projects that to a lesser degree involve the element of public and politics. The world now faces many new mega-projects, both with and without the aspects of PPP, which will continuously face the scrutiny from politics and the public, and the aspect mega-project will therefore be a focus of this thesis.

In mega-projects where project managers, as well as project members, loos the helicopter perspective, the communication has shown to become an more problematic than in regular projects. The importance of addressing and continuously improving the communication within mega-projects can therefore not be understated. This is why the question of what is required of the communication in mega-projects needs to be answered.

The purpose of this study is further to, from the perspective of a consultant; explore the communication within the design phase of a mega-project. With this limitation, the objectives are to investigate what is required of the communication and describe what tools of communication are needed in a mega-project.

The method used is a qualitative, inductive, case study with semi-structured interviews, observations and document investigations. The primary data collected will be analyzed with respect to the secondary, theoretical data that collected. The study’s main conclusions state the importance of face-to-face communication, the necessity of a project office, the benefits with an adaptable project portal and finally the importance of having a vision in a mega-project.
Source: KTH
Author: Billström, Ludvig | Cederqvist, Louise

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