Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Project Control Related Abstracts

4 Relationship among Teams' Information Processing Capacity and Performance in Information System Projects: The Effects of Uncertainty and Equivocality

Authors: Ouafa Sakka, Henri Barki, Louise Cote


Uncertainty and equivocality are defined in the information processing literature as two task characteristics that require different information processing responses from managers. As uncertainty often stems from a lack of information, addressing it is thought to require the collection of additional data. On the other hand, as equivocality stems from ambiguity and a lack of understanding of the task at hand, addressing it is thought to require rich communication between those involved. Past research has provided weak to moderate empirical support to these hypotheses. The present study contributes to this literature by defining uncertainty and equivocality at the project level and investigating their moderating effects on the association between several project information processing constructs and project performance. The information processing constructs considered are the amount of information collected by the project team, and the richness and frequency of formal communications among the team members to discuss the project’s follow-up reports. Data on 93 information system development (ISD) project managers was collected in a questionnaire survey and analyzed it via the Fisher Test for correlation differences. The results indicate that the highest project performance levels were observed in projects characterized by high uncertainty and low equivocality in which project managers were provided with detailed and updated information on project costs and schedules. In addition, our findings show that information about user needs and technical aspects of the project is less useful to managing projects where uncertainty and equivocality are high. Further, while the strongest positive effect of interactive use of follow-up reports on performance occurred in projects where both uncertainty and equivocality levels were high, its weakest effect occurred when both of these were low.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Project Control, Information System Development, equivocality, information processing model, management control systems, interactive use, diagnostic use

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3 Critical Path Segments Method for Scheduling Technique

Authors: Sherif M. Hafez, Remon F. Aziz, May S. A. Elalim


Project managers today rely on scheduling tools based on the Critical Path Method (CPM) to determine the overall project duration and the activities’ float times which lead to greater efficiency in planning and control of projects. CPM was useful for scheduling construction projects, but researchers had highlighted a number of serious drawbacks that limit its use as a decision support tool and lacks the ability to clearly record and represent detailed information. This paper discusses the drawbacks of CPM as a scheduling technique and presents a modified critical path method (CPM) model which is called critical path segments (CPS). The CPS scheduling mechanism addresses the problems of CPM in three ways: decomposing the activity duration of separated but connected time segments; all relationships among activities are converted into finish–to–start relationship; and analysis and calculations are made with forward path. Sample cases are included to illustrate the shortages in CPM, CPS full analysis and calculations are explained in details, and how schedules can be handled better with the CPS technique.

Keywords: Construction Management, Scheduling, Project Control, critical path method, critical path segments, forward pass, float

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2 Cost Overruns in Mega Projects: Project Progress Prediction with Probabilistic Methods

Authors: Yasaman Ashrafi, Stephen Kajewski, Annastiina Silvennoinen, Madhav Nepal


Mega projects either in construction, urban development or energy sectors are one of the key drivers that build the foundation of wealth and modern civilizations in regions and nations. Such projects require economic justification and substantial capital investment, often derived from individual and corporate investors as well as governments. Cost overruns and time delays in these mega projects demands a new approach to more accurately predict project costs and establish realistic financial plans. The significance of this paper is that the cost efficiency of megaprojects will improve and decrease cost overruns. This research will assist Project Managers (PMs) to make timely and appropriate decisions about both cost and outcomes of ongoing projects. This research, therefore, examines the oil and gas industry where most mega projects apply the classic methods of Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and rely on project data to forecast cost and time. Because these projects are always overrun in cost and time even at the early phase of the project, the probabilistic methods of Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) and Bayesian Adaptive Forecasting method were used to predict project cost at completion of projects. The current theoretical and mathematical models which forecast the total expected cost and project completion date, during the execution phase of an ongoing project will be evaluated. Earned Value Management (EVM) method is unable to predict cost at completion of a project accurately due to the lack of enough detailed project information especially in the early phase of the project. During the project execution phase, the Bayesian adaptive forecasting method incorporates predictions into the actual performance data from earned value management and revises pre-project cost estimates, making full use of the available information. The outcome of this research is to improve the accuracy of both cost prediction and final duration. This research will provide a warning method to identify when current project performance deviates from planned performance and crates an unacceptable gap between preliminary planning and actual performance. This warning method will support project managers to take corrective actions on time.

Keywords: Simulation, Project Management, risk analysis, Earned Value Management, Cost Forecasting, Project Control

Procedia PDF Downloads 171
1 Machine Learning Approach to Project Control Threshold Reliability Evaluation

Authors: H. Lee, B. Lee, Y. Kim, M. Park


Planning is understood as the determination of what has to be performed, how, in which sequence, when, what resources are needed, and their cost within the organization before execution. In most construction project, it is evident that the inherent nature of planning is dynamic, and initial planning is subject to be changed due to various uncertain conditions of construction project. Planners take a continuous revision process during the course of a project and until the very end of project. However, current practice lacks reliable, systematic tool for setting variance thresholds to determine when and what corrective actions to be taken. Rather it is heavily dependent on the level of experience and knowledge of the planner. Thus, this paper introduces a machine learning approach to evaluate project control threshold reliability incorporating project-specific data and presents a method to automate the process. The results have shown that the model improves the efficiency and accuracy of the monitoring process as an early warning.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Project Control, schedule, project progress monitoring

Procedia PDF Downloads 108