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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Managing projects in an uncertain world : engaging stakeholders, and building a systemic view of risk

Ackermann, Fran and Howick, Susan and Houghton, Tom and Quigley, John and Walls, Lesley (2012) Managing projects in an uncertain world : engaging stakeholders, and building a systemic view of risk. In: OR54 Annual Conference 2012, 2012-09-04 - 2012-09-06, Edinburgh First, The University of Edinburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

As evidenced through both a historical record of project over-runs and a large number of projects currently under media spotlight for cost over-runs e.g. Edinburgh Tram system, managing projects can be a risky business. Managers are faced with effectively engaging and working with often a multitude of parties (suppliers, government, consultants, general public and own staff), anticipating and dealing with a wealth of often interlocking uncertainties (ranging from technological innovation to force majeure), and often undertaking these activities within a compressed timeframe (which exacerbates the situation) This paper describes a risk management process that has been developed to assist managers facing such situations. The process explicitly engages a range of stakeholders using a group decision support system (allowing for equality of view) and causal mapping process (which facilitates the surfacing of risks along with their ramifications), and thus provides not only a comprehensive appreciation of the totality of the risks identified but also a greater understanding of their subtleties, consequences etc. The paper will discuss a real case where the process was used to gain an understanding of the risks associated with developing a new energy system. The paper will describe the process and its implications, before reflecting on the insights, limitations and future research.