It is remarkable that, with so great a recent emphasis on management, with much purveyance of courses, books and seminars, so little wisdom appears to emerge on the essence of the successful management of large complex engineering projects. Major tunnels clearly figure in this category, occupying a special place on account of the dominance of the construction options and the constant vigilance demanded in respect of geological uncertainty. The principal defect of so many tracts on management is that the subject is discussed as administration, the manipulation of the tools of management, understanding the bureaucratic machine, in preference to management as the art of blending and synthesis across the diverse contributions to the successful project. There is a great deal of jargon relating to project management. This language needs to be understood, in order to penetrate the surrounding mystique, but not to be used. Management-speak is no substitute for good leadership and clear thinking.