The risks of Mega Projects for team members


Mega projects provide a huge leverage for the company (technology services firm) that is executing the projects. This gets amplified when the projects are executed offshore in locations like India or China.

Mega projects have hundreds of team members and are typically extend for a few years. Services companies love these projects. Some of the reasons for loving these projects are obvious and they are:

  • long-term visibility
  • profitability
  • provide a gateway to get other projects in adjacent areas
  • establish their identity to win similar projects from other clients

If you are one of the team members in a mega-project (especially if you are low in the value-chain) be aware of the risks associated with it. Here are some of them:

1. Possibility of being commoditized: This is the biggest risk. You may be engaged in performing a task that can be commoditized easily.

2. Possibility of being part of statistics (only): This is another risk where you are treated as one of the three (or, pick a number) hundred employees working on this project

3. Lack of variety: In your early career, it is best to get a variety of experience. A mega project may not provide this if you are low in the value-chain.

It is YOUR responsibility to mitigate this risk. One way to do this is to aggressively invest in developing yourself by learning the business aspects of the project. Nobody has the time to provide you the big picture and there is no incentive for them to do that. You can, of course, make the most out of this by being proactive. Side benefit from this may just be that you may move up higher in the value chain quickly.