How Big Things Get Done

Bent Flyvbjerg & Dan Gardner

The Surprising Factors That Determine the Fate of Every Project, from Home Renovations and Everything in Between

In this episode of The Thinking Leader Bryce Hoffman and Marcus Dimbleby talk with Bent Flyvbjerg, the world’s leading megaproject expert, economic geographer, and the first BT Professor at Oxford University.

They discuss the problem with big projects and small projects. They explore the ‘iterate and simulate’ process and how it can help navigate the early stages of a project. They discuss the psychology behind why we are hardwired to jump into projects without fully considering all potential risks and pitfalls.

Bent explains the planning fallacy and how its concepts can impact our ability to accurately estimate the duration and cost of a project. He also goes into detail about the concept of continuity and the value of experience when it comes to managing projects. Bent, Bryce and Marcus also touch on the topic of power bias and how it can amplify cognitive bias, and discuss strategies for mitigating these biases and ensuring that projects are successful.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to use the iterate and simulate the process to navigate the early stages of a project
  • Why are we hardwired to jump into projects without considering risks
  • The planning fallacy and how it impacts project management
  • How continuity and experience can give you an advantage in identifying problems and finding solutions
  • How power bias can amplify cognitive bias and learn strategies to mitigate it

Find more information on Bent’s book, How Big Things Get Done, here: