COPING WITH DEVIATION AND DECISION-MAKING
DS 68-1: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 1: Design Processes, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Structured models, such as gated models, are used in order to manage complexity in multi-project environments. The aim in following these prescriptive models creates strong interrelationships of activities in the projects. The project system becomes sensitive to unexpected events that can influence the system negatively. When managing a project in a highly-interrelated project environment, it is not possible to anticipate every possible external influence on the project. Deviations from the planned operations are inevitable but teams rarely get credited for the skilled way in which they manage to cope with these unexpected events. The research in this paper investigates how decisions are made in practice regarding managing these deviations. A project-as-practice approach has been used for studying practice on a micro-level in a project and to capture contextual circumstances. Results show how these practices correspond to four different consequences of decisions and reveal the decision strategy used to manage the deviation. The characteristic of the decision-making process is described using the Garbage-Can model in order to highlight distinctive features of managing deviations.