What can we learn from the Hoover Dam project that influenced modern project management? Academic Article uri icon


  • The Hoover Dam was completed two years ahead of schedule and under budget despite political, economical, technical, and organizational obstacles. Previous literature regarding the Hoover Dam project focused primarily on the aspects of design, engineering, and construction, with minimal analysis or discussions on project and program management techniques unique to this undertaking. This paper examines project and program management practices applied to the building of the Hoover Dam, and discusses how these factors contributed to the establishment and evolution of modern project management principles, tools, and techniques. A historical review of the Hoover Dam project reveals that the project team implemented a number of innovative strategies and practices that are comparable to critical success factors for today's megaprojects to overcome monumental project challenges and obstacles. This paper conveys the organizational and managerial best practices and presents lessons learned associated with the planning and construction of the Hoover Dam project. 2013 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Project Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Kwak, Y. H., Walewski, J., Sleeper, D., & Sadatsafavi, H.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Kwak, Young Hoon||Walewski, John||Sleeper, Dana||Sadatsafavi, Hessam

publication date

  • January 2014