Mega Projects

Research Centre, UTS Business School

A discussion of the managerial challenges and strategies of cross company teams, innovation in procurement contracts and a national Australian initiative on Better Procurement.

Program

  • 4.30pm: Welcome Drinks/Canapes
  • 4.45pm: Welcome by Professor Stewart Clegg, UTS Business School
  • 4.50pm: Managing inter-institutional projects: Managerial challenges and strategies
    presented by Professor Jonas Soderlund from BI Norwegian Business School and Linköping University Sweden
  • 5.10pm: Flexible Contracts as an Innovative Procurement Strategy: Challenges in Adoption
    presented by Dr Ashwin Mahalingam Assistant Professor Building Technology and Construction Management Division IIT Madras, Chennai  India
  • 5.30pm: Questions
  • 5.45pm: 'Better Procurement Australia' National Initiative - UTS-Helmsman Centre for Mega Projects
    presented by Mr Enrique Ugarte, Principal, Helmsman International Director
  • 6.05pm: Questions

Presentations

Managing inter-institutional projects: managerial challenges and strategies

Professor Jonas Soderlund from BI Norwegian Business School and Linköping University Sweden

Mega projects face a number of managerial and organizational challenges. One important challenge relates to the handling of different institutional requirements since the parties involved in the project come from different sectors and institutional environments. This presentation addresses the importance of understanding the institutional pressures and the strategies that management relies on to deal with conflicting institutional pressures. The presentation highlights a few recent examples from Scandinavian mega projects and innovative strategies to cope with contemporary challenges of managing inter-institutional projects.

Flexible Contracts as an Innovative Procurement Strategy: Challenges in Adoption

Dr Ashwin Mahalingam Assistant Professor Building Technology and Construction Management Division IIT Madras, Chennai  India

It is well known that mega projects in general and PPPs in particular are beset with uncertainties over their lifecycle. Flexible contracts are key to mitigating these uncertainties and ensuring project sustainability. Flexibilities can be of three types - Adjustabilities, Real Options and Negotiated Settlements - each of which are progressively more challenging to implement than their precursors. I will briefly elaborate on these three types of flexibilities, provide examples from the Indian and international PPP context and highlight some risks to their implementation. I will conclude the talk with some empirical observations on projects in India where, despite the obvious advantages of contractual flexibilities to project developers, developers often decline to include or enact flexibilities. These findings suggest that socializing the procurement ecosystem to flexible contracts is a necessary first step in their implementation.

'Better Procurement Australia' National Initiative - UTS-Helmsman Centre for Mega Projects

Mr Enrique Ugarte, Principal, Helmsman International Director

The UTS-Helmsman Centre for Mega Projects is a new industry-led partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) which will put Australia at the cutting-edge of complex infrastructure development. The aim of the Centre is to make a difference to the economy by identifying the factors that deliver the biggest productivity improvements and also by disseminating pragmatic and implementable solutions back to Government and Industry for adoption.

During the course of 2016, a series of conversations across both the public and private sectors established consensus on the issues that are having the most impact on Mega Project productivity.

Whilst all  of the issues identified are of a cross industry and economic nature the most prominent factor is the lack of ability to unlock the greatest innovation value from industry and infrastructure providers. This National Initiative asks whether governance, probity and transparency is really at odds with industry innovation and value creation and why our current approaches are perceived to stifle innovation. High level analysis suggests that getting this contracting and engagement mechanism right can return $10B back to the economy through increased productivity and innovation.