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Project risk management from the bottom-up: Activity Risk Index

Abstract

Project managers need to manage risks throughout the project lifecycle and, thus, need to know how changes in activity durations influence project duration and risk. We propose a new indicator (the Activity Risk Index, ARI) that measures the contribution of each activity to the total project risk while it is underway. In particular, the indicator informs us about what activities contribute the most to the project’s uncertainty so that project managers can pay closer attention to the performance of these activities. The main difference between our indicator and other activity sensitivity metrics in the literature (e.g. Cruciality, Criticality, Significance, or Schedule Sensitivity Indices) is that our indicator is based on the Schedule Risk Baseline concept instead of on cost or schedule baselines. The new metric not only provides information at the beginning of the project, but also while it is underway. Furthermore, the ARI is the only one to offer a normalized result: if we add its value for each activity, the total sum is 100%.

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Correspondence to Fernando Acebes.

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Acebes, F., Pajares, J., González-Varona, J.M. et al. Project risk management from the bottom-up: Activity Risk Index. Cent Eur J Oper Res 29, 1375–1396 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10100-020-00703-8

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Keywords

  • Activity Risk Index
  • Schedule Risk Baseline
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Schedule risk analysis
  • Project control