Critical skills identified for completing complex projects

McKinsey Australia has released a report addressing the critical skills project owners need to successfully complete complex projects exceeding $5 billion in value.

The art of project leadership: delivering the world’s largest projects report was written in partnership with Trevor Brown, an experienced leader of complex, major capital projects, including the Santos Gladstone LNG project, and David Knox, former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Santos.

The report says, “We set out to answer a simple question: Why do so many large projects continue to fall short of expectations despite so much global experience, learning, discussion and analysis?

“To answer this question we researched the existing literature on the topic and conducted in-depth interviews with 27 large project practitioners, who collectively have more than 500 years of project delivery experience.”

The interviews resulted in McKinsey Australia synthesising four mindsets and eight practices that define the “art” of project leadership.

“Of the eight practices, four are relevant to the project setup phase and four are relevant to the project delivery phase,” the report says.

“We believe that by embracing these mindsets and practices, project leaders can dramatically increase the chance of successful delivery of ultra-large projects. For completeness, we also articulated the ‘deadly sins’ of project leadership – these are the mindsets and practices that are best avoided to ensure successful project outcomes.”

The art of project leadership: delivering the world’s largest projects report can be downloaded here.

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