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Design Science Journal
Papers

Using DSM Approach to Manage Interactions between Project Risks

Using DSM Approach to Manage Interactions between Project Risks

Year: 2010

Section: Risk and Decisions

Editor: Wynn, D.C.; Kreimeyer, M.; Eben, K.; Maurer, M.; Lindemann, U.; Clarkson, P.J.

Author: Marle, F.

Section: Risk and Decisions

Pages: 17-29

Abstract

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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ds endorsed conferenceDSM 2010 - 12th International DSM Conference

Dependency and Structure Modeling (DSM) originates from the methods that have come about from using the Design Structure Matrix and similar methods (matrix-based as well as graph based). These methods have proven very valuable in designing complex systems, optimizing technical systems and product architectures and organizations, densely networked processes and large market structures. With its ability to manage complexity by looking into the structure of a system, it has led to many other advances...

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