NETLIPSE Press Release Managing Large Construction Projects

The Netlipse consortium presented the results of major research into the management and organisation of 15 large transport infrastructure projects (LIPs) in Europe, during the last network meeting in Turin, Italy.

In total 15 transport infrastructure projects with a total investment of more than € 50 billion were studied in depth during a two-year research period, by a consortium of private, public and research institutes. Infrastructure projects often experience delays, cost overruns and face challenges with technological developments. The research identified the causes of such problems and established “best practice” methods, to help improve the management of future projects. Despite the different political, legal and financial frameworks, the Netlipse consortium found that many projects have similar, if not identical, problems.

Some conclusions:

  • managing the “hard” factors is of equal importance as the “soft” factors, such as coping with stakeholder management and political influence;
  • project organisations often focus on the building phase rather than on the larger scope of the project and the very purpose of their construction.

Marcel Hertogh, Netlipse Project Manager: “…an enormous amount of research material has been obtained resulting in numerous best practices and lessons learnt that could be of benefit to other projects. However, our research shows that projects do not focus on learning from others.” A shame, because these lessons could help improve the management of these projects.” Netlipse offers valuable experiences, as well as a active network to exchange knowledge. He added “we look forward to discussing and expanding this work in the next phase: Netlipse II.” This will also involve the completion of the ‘Infra Maturity tool’, a tool for evaluating and monitoring LIPs.

The European Commission alone plans to invest many Billions of Euros in new transport infrastructure in the next five years. Guidance to all those involved in the task is vital. During the Turin meeting, Mr Karel Vinck, ERTMS coordinator of the Trans European Networks (TEN) in Brussels, acknowledged that a very professional research task had been completed. He saw the potential need for a second phase and development of the “Infra Maturity tool”. Mr. Scheele, EU Director of Transport Logistics, TEN-T and Co-Modality, DG Energy and Transport, considered that Netlipse could play an important contribution for future projects, in execution and during the earlier decision making phase of a project. Work on the “Infra Maturity Tool” will start during the summer of 2008 as soon as financing is completed.

The Netlipse TEN-Book with all the findings of the research is available from this website.

Editorial Notes

Netlipse stands for: “Network for the dissemination of knowledge for Large Infrastructure Projects in Europe”. It is based in Baarn, although involving representatives throughout many of the EU-member states. The work has been funded by the European Commission.

The Netlipse consortium consists of the following institutes and companies:

Governmental Organisations:

  • Ministry of Transport, The Netherlands
  • Department for Transport, Rail Projects, United Kingdom

Research & Knowledge Institutes:

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Road and Bridge Research Institute, Warsaw, Poland
  • Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Portugal

Private Organisations:

  • KPC GmbH, Bern, Switzerland
  • AT Osborne B.V., The Netherlands (Project Management)

The projects researched can be found here.