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Megaproject Management Research

Saïd Business School is the home of the world’s leading research programme on megaproject management. The research from the programme is the most cited in the world in Megaproject Management. It is widely used in both the academic and practitioner communities and in policy and public debate. It has been covered by The Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, and many other media.

The research was originally initiated by a grant from BT plc in 2007 to establish the BT Centre for Major Programme Management, and to found the BT Chair in Major Programme Management at Oxford in perpetuity. In 2014 Megaproject Management and the activities of the BT Centre were made a permanent part of Saïd Business School on a par with the other permanent subject areas within the Oxford Saïd.

Research projects are now funded from a broader group of organisations, with recent grants being received from the Economic and Social Research Council, and from the UK Department of Health.

Pilot studies indicate that performance in major ICT programmes is even more problematic than in other types of major programmes, resulting in waste of taxpayers' and shareholders' money for public and private projects, respectively.
Infrastructure investments per square kilometer is probably higher in the Netherlands than in any other European nation. Nevertheless, little systematic knowledge exists about the actual costs, to what degree it was built on budget and schedule and whether it delivers the promised benefits.
The research question for this project is: how may theories of the planning fallacy and the outside view be used to conduct due diligence of business cases, cost-benefit analyses, and social and environmental impact assessments for major programmes?
How come that planners, forecasters and decision makers keep repeating the planning fallacy over and over, with no link to the outside view (systematic use of knowledge of past outcomes), even when everyone knows about bias and optimism?
A main assumption behind privatisations, public-private partnerships and private finance initiatives in major programme delivery is that the involvement of private risk capital in programme delivery, for instance in infrastructure provision, will bring much-needed discipline to the planning and delivery of programmes.

Patterns in project and programme management

Janet Smart, Cris Regalado Peynetti and Benedict Pinches
Our research goal is to develop methods of knowledge capture, teaching and dissemination that can contribute to preventing the losses to society, corporations and individuals that are implied by the failure and cost over-runs of large projects and programmes.

Literature review into the benefits of health ICT investments

Paul Chapman, Atif Ansar, Alexander Budzier, Viviana Jiminez
and Benedict Pinches
An independent, academically rigorous review to document what the literature, such as peer-reviewed papers, conference/symposium reports and other publications, can tell us about the sucess of programmes in realising the benefits that they had originally anticipated.
A few programmes are built on time and budget and deliver the promised benefits and may be termed programme successes in this sense. This research asks the question of whether such programmes succeed due to happenstance or whether more systematic factors are at play that may be explained and replicated.