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A Methodology Based on Benchmarking to Learn Across Megaprojects: The Case of Nuclear Decommissioning

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: The literature lacks a single and universally accepted definition of major and megaprojects: usually, these projects are described as projects with a budget above $1 billion and a high level of innovation, complexity and uniqueness both in terms of physical infrastructure and stakeholder network. Moreover, they often provide fewer benefits than what were originally expected and are affected by delays and cost overruns. Because of techno-economic magnitude, it is still extremely hard to gather lessons learned from these projects in a systematic way. This paper presents an innovative methodology based on benchmarking to investigate practices and learn from a portfolio of unique megaprojects. The methodology combines quantitative and qualitative cross-comparison of case studies and statistical analysis into an iterative process. Indeed, benchmarking offers significant potential to improve the performance of project selection, planning and delivery. The methodology is exemplified in this paper using the case of Nuclear Decommissioning Projects and Programmes (NDPs). Indeed, due to their characteristics, NDPs can be addressed as megaprojects, and are a relevant example for the application of this methodology, which collects and investigates the characteristics that mostly impact upon the performance of megaprojects.

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