Success and failure in projects is a frequent topic among both project theoreticians and practitioners. Mega-projects especially have received attention from academic authors and the popular press, often recounting performance failures in terms of cost and time overruns, which sometimes lead to fiascos. Less reported are the great successes where project goals were met, budgets contained, and most importantly, the customer or users were satisfied. Regardless of outcome, each case offers a learning opportunity providing the causal factors are investigated and the lessons properly applied.
This study presumes that project success, as defined above, is not indeterminate by nature, and that undertaking certain activities, coupled with application of particular policies and launch conditions at the front end, positions a project for success. Evidence of continued high-tech project failure , ,  indicates the need for continued research into areas contributing to project robustness.
The parameters of mega-projects are not tightly specified here, except to note that these endeavors typically have hundreds of millions or even billion-dollar budgets, timeframes usually measured in at least years, and often a high level of public or political attention. I loosely define high-tech projects as those involving research and development (R&D), a significant information technology (IT) component, application of leading-edge science/engineering technologies, and with substantial infrastructure requirements.
In this paper, I focus on the early conditions required for high-tech mega-project success, beyond the basic "givens" of project structure, funding, tools, and plans.
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