Case of the Month November 2014 – Mega Projects: A Focus on the Airbus Plant Expansion and the Elbphilharmonie Construction in the Hamburg Metropolitan

Mega projects are by their size, number of stakeholders, and value at stake unique and barely reproducible. These projects are instrumental for the success of a regionʼs economic development. As a consequence, they are also under scrutiny by the media, and political and economic stakeholders. The financial and political risks are at the level of their reward.

On November 10-11, at the SAP Business Transformation Summit 2014, the attendees heard two great keynotes discussing not only the factors that influence the success and failure of mega projects (keynote by Hartmut Wegener), but also talking about the power relations that come with the unparalleled complexity, scale, and multi-faceted stakeholder relationships (keynote by Prof. Stewart Clegg). For the Case of the Month, we decided to give you a closer look at the first one. 

Through case studies of two projects, the plant expansion of Airbus A380 and the Elbphilharmonie in the Hamburg Metropolitan area, authors Hartmut Wegener and Axel Uhl have identified key learnings in the project setup and management to ensure success and reduce risk of failure, and one of them states:

“Methods of financing such projects are critical as public projects are often adversely affected by insufficient means paired with excessively high public or political expectations.”

A380AirbusElbphilharmoniefailureMega projectssuccess factors

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