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An overall framework for understanding changes in megaprojects – a Norwegian approach

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An overall framework for understanding changes in megaprojects – a Norwegian approach

Authors: Zidane Yuocef J-T, Siva Ekambaram, Agnar Johansen,

Presented at the 26th IPMA World Congress 2012, Crete, Greece.


During the last decades there has been intensive research about managing change in projects. Several researchers indicate that change should always be avoided and project team should be proactive in dealing with it. However, change is not always deleterious; some changes are beneficial and can also lead to new opportunities. The focus of this paper is on changes in megaprojects. These projects have a very significant impact on the society as a whole. These projects are known for their characteristics, such as large scope, high cost capital, long duration, with high complexity and uncertainty. Furthermore, they are open to dynamic environment. These characteristics are some of the major reasons why these projects are exposed to continuous change in their scope, cost, plan, etc.  Many of these projects are famous for their inefficiency (cost overrun, time delays, and quality defect) in producing the intended output. They even fail occasionally to meet the desired outcome measured in terms of their effectiveness. Scholars suggest several reasons for the failure. Their suggestions point out the importance of looking at factors such as flexibility, complexity, uncertainty and stakeholder management. This paper considers all these factors and presents a project change model that illustrates the dynamic of changes with respect to effectiveness and efficiency. This paper presents a literature study and empirical results obtained from Norwegian companies. The study related to this paper is based on interviews, case study, and surveys, and it presents a Norwegian approach to managing changes in megaprojects.