Rethinking capabilities: lessons for policy, scholarship and practice
About the research and why is it important?
Traditionally, major projects perform poorly, with the majority experiencing cost overruns, delays and shortfalls in intended benefits. However, in recent years, the UK has also witnessed several high‑performing projects, such as Heathrow Terminal 5 and the 2012 London Olympics. Why do some projects perform poorly, while others perform well?
Motivated by this question, Project X set out to examine how capabilities are developed to improve project performance. A suite of cases was developed investigating leadership capabilities, front-end strategic capabilities, supply chain engagement and the dynamics of collaborative delivery. These cases also consider knowledge transfer and learning, the challenge of sustaining gender equality and control capabilities to mitigate failure and learn from emergent risks.