Dr Alexander Budzier

Dr Alexander Budzier is a Fellow in Management Practice at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School. His work on Major Programme Management focusses on project, programme and portfolio management in IT, change management, infrastructure, and energy. He teaches on the MSc for Major Programme Management, the Major Project Leadership Academy, as well as other leadership programmes for senior executives. His research focusses de-risking projects through improvements in front-end management, decision making, and programmatics. His current research projects include:
• The role and importance of high impact, rare events on Megaprojects;
• The challenges of IT-led change projects;
• The front-end management of Public-Private Partnerships; and
• Explaining the cost overruns in the Olympic Games.
Key publications include:
• Does Investing in Infrastructure Contribute to Economic Welfare? Micro-level Evidence from Transportation Projects In China (Oxford Review of Economic Policy);
• Big is Fragile: An Attempt at Theorizing Scale (OUP Handbook of Megaproject Management);
• Should We Build More Large Dams? (Energy Policy);
• IT on Steroids: The Benefits (and Risks) of Accelerating Technology (Harvard Business Review Blog Network);
• Making-Sense of the Impact and Importance of Outliers in Project Management through the Use of Power Laws (11th IRNOP conference);
• Overspend? Late? Failure? What the data says about IT project risk in the public sector (Commonwealth Governance Handbook); and
• Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think (Harvard Business Review).
His research has been featured in the Financial Times, Forbes, BBC Radio 4, MIT Technology Review, ComputerWeekly, McKinsey Quarterly, InformationWeek and BBC News.
Prior to joining Saïd, Alexander worked as a Market Research Executive at T-Mobile International in London and most recently as a consultant with McKinsey's Business Technology Offices in Düsseldorf and Chicago, where he advised clients on project management, IT and operations. Alexander holds a Diploma from Dresden Technical University (Diplom-Wirtschaftsinformatiker) and a DPhil in Management Studies from the University of Oxford.

Session title: Using an outside view of project risk for realistic risk and capability assessments

Synopsis: The talk focusses on the two key strategies to deal with risk in major projects and programmes: predict & provide and predict & prevent. The talk investigates the case study of HS2 where the discussion of predict & provide, i.e. how much contingency does HS2 need, led to the question what are the key capability areas in which the project needs to invest to increase confidence in delivery without creating false certainty. The case study will highlight how the two strategies of predict & provide and predict & prevent are interlinked and draw general conclusions how the learnings from HS2 can be applied to other projects.

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