Using DSM Approach to Manage Interactions between Project Risks

DSM 2010: Proceedings of the 12th International DSM Conference, Cambridge, UK, 22.-23.07.2010

Year: 2010
Editor: Wynn, D.C.; Kreimeyer, M.; Eben, K.; Maurer, M.; Lindemann, U.; Clarkson, P.J.
Author: Marle, F.
Section: Risk and Decisions
Page(s): 17-29


The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Project Risk Interactions Management (PRIM) process and its associated tools and techniques. The aim is to assist project manager and project members to make decisions in a coordinated way by taking into account their direct and indirect interactions inside and outside the project. The problem with current methodologies is that there are some links which exist but are not managed. Risks are indeed interrelated with links which are more complex than what is actually modelled and then managed. We argue that projects are nowadays generally managed with single-link graphs (Work Breakdown Structure, PERT diagram, Organisational chart, risk lists) and not as complex networks. In the case of risk management, most of the methods use lists, as if they were independent, in order to prioritise them, to assign them to risk owners and to group them into smaller clusters. Traditional tree-based methodologies are mainly single-risk oriented, even if they analyse multiple causes and consequences. Even the network-based methods, like Bayesian networks, do not allow a project manager or a risk manager for properly taking into account the real complexity of interactions between risks. This complexity involves many data of different natures, with the existence of long chains and/or of loops. These are not the optimal use conditions for existing methods, especially for big networks. Thus, we argue for the use of some methods which remain simple but permit to catch and to consider interactions better than today. DSM is one of these methods and is the pedestal of the proposed PRIM process.

Keywords: Complexity, Interactions Modelling, Risk and Opportunity Management, Project Management


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