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Taming the ‘trolls’ : major public projects in the making

Klakegg, Ole Jonny; Williams, Terry; Shiferaw, Asmamaw Tadege


Major projects are not yet sufficiently understood, and practices in project governance and project management do not yet reflect the current state of knowledge of large, complex projects. In an attempt to understand the reasons, the authors therefore investigated the latest relevant findings documented in three countries: the UK, Norway, and the Netherlands. Their examination of the effect of implementing governance frameworks for public projects in these countries indicates that efforts to improve major projects are giving rewards: Even if complex public projects, the ‘trolls’, become more challenging, efforts to ‘tame’ them are improving. The results of the study show that project planning has improved and cost overruns are reduced. However, recent observations indicate that the effect may wear off remarkably quickly. Hence, the need for continuous improvement and change is prominent. There are fundamental limitations in the use of formal systems as they cannot detect all problems and there are limitations to humans' ability in terms of optimism bias that cannot be eliminated.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2016-02
Journal International journal of project management
Print ISSN 0263-7863
Electronic ISSN 1873-4634
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 282-296
Keywords Project governance; Governance frameworks; Project success; Complexity
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in International journal of project management, 2016. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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