Project Management for Complex Transportation Projects

Date
2010-01-01
Authors
Owens, John
Major Professor
Advisor
Kelly Strong
Committee Member
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Altmetrics
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Research Projects
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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Abstract

The management of complex transportation projects requires a fundamental change in how they are approached. The traditional methodology for managing transportation projects is not adequate for complex projects. The project begins by discussing the transition of project management towards a five-dimensional model that incorporates context and financing dimensions that have previously been regarded merely as risks. The five dimensional model and an extensive literature search pertaining to the management of complex transportation projects assist in mapping the complexity of real-world projects. The main purpose of this research is to present results found on real-world projects that illustrate a new type of management approach for project managers.

A total of five case studies are selected for this project that have definitive sources of complexity found that create management challenges. The literature review serves as a starting point in developing a questionnaire that focuses on complexity issues found in the studied transportation projects. Participants familiar with each project are interviewed to gather both qualitative and quantitative data. This information can be used in several ways. First, examining a number of complex projects allows similarities to arise between them relating to common sources of complexity. Second, the mapping of each project allows the user to compare both the studied projects and upcoming agency projects in order to make resource allocation decisions based on commonalities. Lastly, the resource allocation recommendations also discuss potential skill sets that would be the most adept at effectively managing specific portions of a project.

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