The Olympics are costly, risky megaprojects, infamous for blowing budgets out of the water. Are yours?

When the Rio Games open Friday they will have exceeded initial budget estimates by $1.5 billion. (Whether the city or its venues are ready is another story.) But it’s not unusual; it’s expected, according to Bent Flyvbjerg, the project management industry’s guru and most widely cited scholar in the field.

Nine out of 10 megaprojects fail because they’re over budget, overdue, over and over again. And most don’t deliver on value either, explains Flyvbjerg, a renowned professor at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. But these are only pieces of a much bigger problem: poor project management.

The challenges aren’t limited to the Olympics. Similarly, the root causes of project failure don’t just apply to cities’ ever-growing infrastructure projects; they are equally applicable to smaller scale and seemingly less risky corporate undertakings – like Levi Strauss’ information technology system revamp.

Megaprojects need a radical transformation, in business and government, says Flyvbjerg. If your business depends on the success of large projects, listening to Flyvbjerg is a must. Contact us to learn more about how he can help you or your organization’s megaproject managers beat the odds.