Imperial College London

Five simple rules for innovation in megaprojects


Heathrow, Terminal 5

Heathrow, Terminal 5

Five simple rules for innovation in mega projects

On Wednesday 28 September 2017, the Centre for Systems Engineering & Innovation hosted Professor Mark Dodgson from University of Queensland.

Event slides link

Mark is Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Queensland Business School, Brisbane, and Visiting Professor at Imperial College Business School. He has written or edited 16 books and over 100 academic articles and book chapters on innovation. He has been a director of two multi-billion dollar companies and three start-ups. Mark’s PhD is from Imperial College London. He has been Senior Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University and Executive Director of the National Graduate School of Management at the Australian National University. His current research encompasses play at work, the future of the university, philanthropy, and the management of innovation in infrastructure projects.

Megaprojects significantly affect everyone’s lives, but they have proven notoriously difficult to manage and have a poor record of being delivered on time and on budget. A major reason for their poor performance is the extent of the uncertainty that confronts them. T5 at Heathrow Airport, the London 2012 Olympics, and Crossrail recognized the benefits of innovation to deal with uncertainty. Learning from these projects, this presentation outlines five simple rules that prepare megaprojects for uncertainty by providing managers with guidance on when and how to adapt plans and modify processes when new opportunities arise or conditions change rapidly and unexpectedly.


Tim Gordon

Tim Gordon
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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