Assystem report reveals majority of infrastructure projects fail

Skill shortages, limited investment and lack of technology uptake, innovation and data production/analysis were cited as major reasons for failure

A survey conducted by Assystem has revealed that over half of infrastructure projects around the world fail to meet time, cost and quality objectives. The survey of over 700 project control professionals working globally on transport, energy and urban development projects, revealed only 47% of projects worldwide achieve time, cost and quality objectives.

Project controls professionals provide guidance and assistance to project managers for the resolution of complex engineering project controls issues, and help with the planning, scheduling, cost analysis and monitoring for major engineering programs or high visibility projects, the firm said.

Skill shortages, limited investment and a lack of uptake in technology, innovation and data production/analysis were cited as major reasons for failure. Only 23% of projects and portfolios believe their teams have all the necessary skills to perform their function successfully.

The survey also revealed that investment levels present a significant challenge to project delivery, with uncertainty around financial backing for major projects causing scheduling delays, which cause project inefficiencies and cost increases in turn.

“While some of the challenges facing the infrastructure sector are systemic, the silver lining is that there are means to improve project success rates available in the short to medium term. Today, technological advancements, particularly assets such as digital twins, powerful data-rich dashboards, and artificial intelligence, have the potential to revolutionise project management and turn the tide on the global infrastructure challenge,” said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Business Unit Director for Transport and Infrastructure, Assystem.

Respondents said digital transformation is a key driver of successful delivery, with confidence doubling when projects are paired with a digital delivery plan, noting that such cutting-edge solutions require initiative and investment to adopt and deploy them effectively.

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