Megaproject Leaders
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Megaproject Leaders

Reflections on Personal Life Stories

Edited by Nathalie Drouin, Shankar Sankaran, Alfons van Marrewijk and Ralf Müller

Megaproject Leaders brings together 18 prominent academics who interviewed 16 great megaproject leaders originating from 10 different countries. Based on a reflective methodological approach, these chapters investigate the managing of megaprojects from a human perspective, identify new trends in the managing of megaprojects and identify lessons learned from the personal views of the interviewees. The novel ideas presented will appeal to academics, practitioners and university students.
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Chapter 15: How to lead an urban megaproject: lessons from the Canada Line

Nathalie Drouin


Megaprojects are the wild beasts of project management because of their complexity. In this chapter, we examine the personality traits and discuss the views of a top manager, Jean-Marc Arbaud, who was involved in the design and implementation of an urban megaproject in Vancouver. The Canada Line was one of the highest-profile infrastructure improvements created in Vancouver in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Based on our discussions with Mr Arbaud, we use a metaphor to highlight two anchor points for the better management of megaprojects: Megaprojects are like ships that must be moved forward: each team member has a role to play, and the ship needs a strong captain with specific characteristics.

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