How Frank Gehry Delivers on Time and on Budget: Lessons from the Master Architect in Managing Big Projects

13 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2023

See all articles by Bent Flyvbjerg

Bent Flyvbjerg

University of Oxford - Said Business School; IT University of Copenhagen; St Anne's College, University of Oxford

Dan Gardner

Independent

Date Written: January 3, 2023

Abstract

A study of some 16,000 major projects—from large buildings to bridges, dams, power stations, rockets, railroads, information technology systems, and even the Olympic Games—reveals a massive project-management problem. Only 8.5% of those projects were delivered on time and on budget, while a mere 0.5% were completed on time and on budget and produced the expected benefits. In other words, 99.5% of large projects failed to deliver as promised. Master architect Frank Gehry consistently defies those odds, producing projects of staggering beauty while meeting time and budget targets. This article reveals four lessons, gleaned from Gehry and his colleagues, for successfully managing big projects.

Keywords: Project leadership, project management, architecture, digital twin

Suggested Citation

Flyvbjerg, Bent and Gardner, Dan, How Frank Gehry Delivers on Time and on Budget: Lessons from the Master Architect in Managing Big Projects (January 3, 2023). Harvard Business Review, January-February 2023, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4317294

Bent Flyvbjerg (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Oxford
Great Britain

IT University of Copenhagen ( email )

Copenhagen
Denmark

St Anne's College, University of Oxford ( email )

Oxford
United Kingdom

Dan Gardner

Independent

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