Program Number: C020-19092012
The Big Dig: Megaprojects and Risk Management
Activity Sponsor: PMINJ Chapter (C020)
PDUs: - 1.5
Leadership - 0.0
Strategic - 0.0
Technical - 1.5
Boston’s $14.9 billion dollar Central
Artery/Tunnel Project, commonly known as the Big Dig, was
the largest, most complex, and technically challenging
highway project in American history. Larger than the Panama
Canal, the Hoover Dam and the Alaska Pipeline projects, it
was built through the heart of one of the nation’s oldest
As the country’s largest and most complex infrastructure project, the lessons learned from the Big Dig present an excellent template for identifying, assessing, monitoring and controlling risk. This presentation will provide an overview of the nuts and bolts of developing a risk management program for a large mega project including an analysis of common and unique risks on mega projects, risk allocation, risk sharing and transfer and state of the art mechanisms to help project managers address the challenges and complexities of project risk to prevent disastrous failures and assure project success. The Big Dig had many successes, but also many failures.
What were the biggest mistakes on the Big Dig? How could these problems have been overcome? According to the Big Dig’s engineers and independent consultants, damage was all but inevitable based on the huge risks undertaken. The Big Dig’s former risk manager will describe the innovative techniques utilized to address these daily concerns, and the lessons learned from this unique undertaking. The Big Dig’s story is an invaluable lesson: How can America invest in infrastructure—and do it smart?
Virginia A. Greiman, PMP, Professor of Project Management, Boston University
Professor Greiman has more than 20 years
of experience in international project finance and
development in both developed and transition economies and
is a recognized expert in mega project management and
finance, risk management, legal reform, and privatization.
She is an Assistant Professor at Boston University in
project and program management and planning, and holds
teaching appointments at Harvard and Boston University Law
Schools and the Kennedy School of Government. She previously
served as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel and Risk Manager to
Boston's $14.9 billion dollar Central Artery/Tunnel Project
(The Big Dig) and as international legal counsel to the US
Department of State, the US Agency for International
Development and the World Bank in Eastern and Central
Europe, Africa and Asia on privatization, infrastructure
development and legal reform projects. Prior appointments
include serving as United States Trustee to the U.S.
Department of Justice where she oversaw the reorganizations
of Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and the Bank of New England.
She has published extensively and lectures internationally
on project management and risk management, project
complexity and infrastructure development. She is a
certified PMP and a member of the legal bars of Virginia,
D.C. and Massachusetts.
Topic: Strategic Networking