Why Does a Federal Demonstration Project Succeed or Fail—

by Walter S. Baer, Deputy Dir.; Energy Policy Program, Rand Corp.,
Edward W. Merrow, Social Science Dept., Rand Corp.,
LeLand L. Johnson, Manager; Communications Policy Program, Rand Corp.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 3, Pg. 53-55


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: This is a condensed version of an article published in Science Magazine (Vol. 196, pp. 953-958, 27 May 1977). Authors analyzed 24 federally funded demonstration projects to determine why some projects succeed and others fail. Characteristics shared by successful demonstration projects were: the technology was well in-hand; initiative came from private sector or local agency; new technology could be manufactured by existing sources; all factors needed for commercialization (from users to manufacturers to purchasers) were involved in the demonstration project and, finally, there was no tight time constraints. These factors may seem obvious but a surprising number of the 24 projects surveyed did not meet them.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Feasibility studies | Federal project policy | Time factors

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