Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Winter 2011


Jeffrey Busch

Course Title

Project Management

Course Number

ETM 545


The purpose of this paper is to comparatively analyze the project management and decision making (Governance) structures of two megaprojects. Building on this analysis we present findings regarding the future Project Management and Governance Structure for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) Project as it proceeds through the remaining project phases. This report was completed as a Graduate Class Exercise in the EMGT 545 “Project Management” class at Portland State University during the Winter 2011 term. This intent of this report is to apply concepts and techniques learned in class to a real life application in order to demonstrate a working knowledge of the information learned in class. An in depth literature review was utilized as the primary research methodology for the report. The team also attended a public outreach meeting for the CRC project where additional information was gathered and multiple contacts were made. These contacts were able to provide helpful supplemental details and insight into the project. The paper begins by describing the general nature of megaprojects, their lifecycles, and the unique aspects to a megaproject. A mega project is different from other projects in that it is primarily funded with taxpayer’s money and must satisfy the affected community by reflecting their values, goals and objectives. The literature review of megaprojects focused on the CRC project and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) project. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project is another bi-state river crossing project that has similar characteristics to the CRC project and was used as an analogous project for the comparative analysis. The comparative analysis focused on some of the main criteria for any project: schedule, cost, and performance. The analysis shows the effect that the project organizational structure had on these criteria. In general, the project management and decision making structure of the CRC project was complex and convoluted. This caused confusion in the planning process, critical decisions to be delayed, costs to increase, and the LPA rejected soon after its adoption. The WWB project management structure, however, was much more organized, had a distinct top-down approach, and the roles of the parties involved were more clearly defined. This allowed the WWB project to stay on schedule and within budget throughout the different phases of the project. Finally, the paper concludes the analysis with findings regarding the nature of the existing Project Management and Governance Structure of the CRC project. A responsibility matrix is developed to identify gaps and opportunities in the future structures. From theses gaps and opportunities, a modified Project Management and Governance Structure is conceptualized to guide the project through the Construction Phase.


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