Chapter 5

Megaproject Scope Management

The single best payoff in terms of project success comes from having good project definition early.

—RAND Corporation


Though much has been written about what went wrong on the Big Dig, it is amazing how much went right, considering its massive and technically challenging requirements. During the 14 years of Big Dig construction, seven and a half miles of highway, more than half in tunnels, were built along the old Colonial shoreline, above and below Boston's subway system and within feet of the city's tallest buildings, rearranging centuries-old gas, water, and electric lines, all while more than 1.2 million workers, visitors, and residents went about their business each day (BRA 1996). In addition to the extensive tunneling through the City of Boston, the landmark Zakim Bunker Hill cable-stayed bridge was completed by Swiss designer Christian Menn, and the interstate highway that starts in Seattle and crosses the United States was connected with Boston's Logan Airport. Many innovations were used along the way, including the largest application of slurry wall construction and ground freezing and the first cable-stayed asymmetrical bridge design. All of this can be defined in one word: scope.

This chapter addresses the complex relationships among scope, quality, cost, and schedule and all the influences that impact these project knowledge areas. For public megaprojects, the scope is magnified by the project's long duration, multiple ...

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