“Doors you couldn’t touch, switches that melted and wheels that turned square” – Why do PPPs usually fail?

Posted on July 9, 2022


Two years ago, I posted the following question on LinkedIn: Can procurement collaborate and innovate outside of a crisis situation? (Question after reading Boston Consulting Group (BCG) post shared by Lance Younger).

The post, which garnered almost 93,000 views, stimulated one of the more interesting and energetic dialogues with which I have been involved since joining LinkedIn in 2007.

This morning I read an article by Brigitte Pellerin regarding how a Light Rail Transit (LRT) PPP contract went south, resulting in “doors you couldn’t touch, switches that melted and wheels that turned square.” It made me think of my earlier post, why PPPs fail, and what we can do to make them successful.

Today’s Question: Does it take a crisis for PPP Stakeholders to operate transparently and effectively? 

Consider the I-35 bridge replacement project in Minnesota that Kate Vitasek, the driving force behind Vested, and others have talked about extensively. It was an incredibly complex project employing new methodologies under extremely challenging circumstances. Through an open-book framework for collaboration with honest communication and well-designed performance incentives for the contractors, diverse elements came together to bring the project to fruition on time and on budget. The project was completed three months early!

Ultimately, it wasn’t a matter of whether the desired outcome was achievable but whether stakeholders had the desire and will to get it done.

Additional Ref Link: https://procureinsights.com/2019/12/13/the-3d-value-chain-forbes-special/