November Dinner Meeting

November Dinner Meeting

Date and Time

November 29, 2018 - 5:30pm


 Please follow the link to register online

Register Online


Metropolitan Conference Centre


333 4th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta

(Across from the Westin on 4th Avenue SW)

Parking for monthly dinner meetings can be found at the James Short Parkade (Center Street) for $2 after 4 pm. It's heated, well lit, and only a couple of blocks from the Conference Centre!


The following rates for chapter dinners are exclusive of GST.

Member $40.00
Non-Member $50.00
Student $35.00
Volunteer $0.00

We Accept 

Note: Requests for attendance after closing date of registration will be accepted based on space availability at cost of $5.00 in addition to the regular posted fee.


Causes and Cures of Major Project Failures


Professional project managers live to manage and execute capital construction projects, from big to small, from simple to complex, from friendly surroundings to hostile environment, almost on daily basis. Their managerial styles may be different, the outcomes may vary, but one lingering question hovering over their heads during planning and execution phases is common: at the end, will my project succeed or fail?

We Albertans all know that “numerous past mega projects in Alberta have experienced significant cost overruns in past two decades, making Alberta one of the notorious places in the world for mega project failures”. On contrary, do small projects perform better? Relatively speaking they are easier to control and execute, hence there are higher chances of being successful. Statistics however has proven that “small projects often under-spent the estimated TIC costs or approved AFEs”. Are those projects considered success then?

People ask what then are the primary causes of project failure? Is there a cure to the cause of failure?

Nobody can answer the above questions in the industry, at least for now, though many academic experts and industry practitioners attempted, having written books, articles and essays to prove they have answers. I would like to take this opportunity to share with all project management professionals my compilation of reasons why major projects fail, and if is there any chance those projects would succeed.

To add a bit fuel to the fire in today’s discussion will be a debate on if “project management is or not a profession”. If project management does not meet the standard of the definition of profession, who then is more qualified to manage and execute those major projects. Should project management professionals be blamed for project failures?

Looking forward to the open and transparent discussion / debate as there will be no right or wrong answer to the initial question.


John G. Zhao, MSc.

Manager, Planning, Cost Estimating and Risk Management,  Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP)

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