Professors Driv and Shenhar recently performed an analysis of what makes a great projects, which you can see here. Much of what they found is expected around culture, comprehensive planning, clear goals, and management support. However, although they identify a great project as creating something new, it was surprising how many of these projects leveraged ideas from other areas.
- Boeing 777 (pictured below) used custom software from Dassault Systems.
- World Trade Center used Italian technology to manage bedrock water levels.
- iPod/iTunes design used existing technology from Fuse/PortalPlayer.
This reinforces the idea that what is new is often a clever combination of existing ideas.