Responsible Project Management: beyond the triple constraints
In this theoretical paper, we propose the concept of Responsible Project Management drawing upon perspectives from responsible innovation, accountability and sustainability in project environments, especially those of megaprojects, addressing their long-term impact, far beyond the traditional notion of project success on the triple constraints of time, cost and adherence to specifications. Megaprojects as multibillion dollar projects (e.g., the Channel Tunnel, organisation of London Olympics 2012 and the construction of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5) are very important parts of infrastructure in developed and developing countries, where traditional project management analysis focuses on the implementation or execution process (i.e. planning and control) usually incurring delays, cost overrun and financial risk. However, this analysis requires further understanding regarding their complexity and their effects on environment and society as a whole. Furthermore, management of megaprojects as a professional practice lacks a framework to provide lessons to support the improvement of decision-making process for the future generation of infrastructure for development, which increasingly has to be built up under sustainability and accountability premises. This paper proposes an integrative framework based on four dimensions of responsible innovation, four instruments of accountability and six principles addressing sustainability that help to define and implement megaprojects, aiming at an inclusive approach – to better inform practitioners, policy makers, academics, and the wider society - when decisions about building megaprojects are taken. This framework might help also to analyse megaprojects in order to extract lessons that might be useful in the controversial arena of infrastructure development.