Meeting/Event Information

Chapter Meeting - October 2019 - Leading Complex Projects


October 09, 2019
5:45 PM - 8:30 PM
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Riff Perth
45 St Georges Terrace
Perth, 6164


We are actually better at developing and executing capital projects than our many critics suggest. Most projects do achieve what was intended by their business sponsors without large overruns or slips in schedule. The real sore spot in capital projects (and the one that earns most of the bad press) is in the complex megaprojects. Complex projects fail too often and often in spectacular fashion. In his 2011 book Industrial Megaprojects, Ed Merrow laid out the immediate causes of the failure of these projects:

  • Owners don't do a very good job of preparing the projects for contractors to execute.
  • There are holes in the Basic Data,
  • disgruntled stakeholders and,
  • poorly developed front-end loading.


His conclusions, however, just beg another question: given that we know we have to do these things to be successful, why don't we do them? Merrow and his colleague Neeraj Nandurdikar believe they have found the answer; we don't select the right people to lead these complex projects and the effect of our poor selection process is failed projects.


Ed Merrow is the Founder and CEO of Independent Project Analysis, Inc. (IPA), the global industry leader in quantitative analysis and benchmarking of project management systems.  

After receiving his degrees from Dartmouth College and Princeton University, Merrow began his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of California Los Angeles, followed by 14 years as a research scientist at The Rand Corporation where he directed the Energy Research Program.

He is a recognized expert on the development and commercialisation of new process technologies and management of large and complex projects. His recent books include his critically acclaimed Industrial Megaprojects (John Wiley 2011) and Leading Complex Projects (John Wiley 2018).  Ed’s current major research effort centers on a quantitative analysis of how contracting strategies and delivery systems shape project results.  That will result in a new book on the subject in 2020.

IPA evaluates projects and project delivery systems primarily for industrial companies in oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, minerals, and power and infrastructure.  IPA’s clients are worldwide. IPA also maintains the largest projects research organization in the world with a full-time staff of over 40 inter-disciplinary researchers studying how to better develop and execute capital projects.


The venue is close to the Elizabeth Quay train station and free city bus services; Read more. The red CAT will service this area. See the map.

We would also like to invite you to attend PMI Toastmasterswhich meets immediately before the Chapter Meeting servicing the local community of project managers in Perth. Good leaders are good communicators. In Toastmasters you will improve your speaking skills and develop leadership abilities in order to become a better leader. 


$0.00 WAPMI Member

$25.00 Guests


$0.00 WA PMI Member Ticket

$25.00 Guest Ticket