I say "still" political because I have written about this before.
Mid-career operations managers and capital project managers have usually seen one or two complete disasters by the time they reach this stage in their careers. Typically, they resolve something like this, "If I ever get to the point that I am in charge of a capital project, I am going to do it differently. I will _______."
Their failing is they never spend the time to learn how to do a project correctly and they seldom get a chance to hire someone who knows how to do a project correctly. Of course, for the latter to be true, they have to recognize that they do not know how to do a project correctly and they have to be given the latitude to seek out someone or some firm that does.
In most cases it is more like this analogy. One sees a car wreck happen in real time, and thinks, "I'll never let that happen to me." However, they do not spend any time studying the wreck to see the details of what went wrong and how to avoid the same mistakes. In the car wreck example, the only ones who do the necessary studying are those with a vested interest: race car drivers. Others that study such things are companies with professional drivers--trucking companies and bus lines. The casual daily commuter doesn't invest the time.
This is what happens with capital projects in our industry. Early in one's career, one may be involved in capital projects, but not be a decision maker. When time comes for them to assume the mantle of responsibility, they are no better off than the casual automobile commuter described.
Complicating matters in capital projects is this. Big capital projects attract contractors and equipment builders who have been courting top management for years. For the most critical financial allocation a company may make in five or ten years, the decision as to who will do it and how they will do it will come down to a long-term friendship between heavy hitters who have to listen to no one.
I can think of at least two projects in the United States right now that are being executed in this manner. For folks who do expert witness work, as I sometimes do, I am merely waiting for the lawsuits to start flying two or three years from now in order to cash in in my own way. I am serious--this has happened many times in my career. My first witness experience in a construction case was in the mid-1980's and they have come along on a regular basis from that day to this.