Achieving Multiple Project Objectives through Contingency Management
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Project managers use budgets to satisfy multiple objectives such as cost control, short durations, and high quality. Contingency funds are included in project budgets to manage risk and achieve project goals. Understanding how managers use budget contingencies requires a dynamic information processing model of how managers bridge the gap between high project complexity and limited managerial capacity. The results of collecting contingency management practices of real estate development project managers is reported and a dynamic simulation model of contingency management described. The model is used to test hypotheses of the effectiveness of aggressive and passive management strategies on cost, timeliness, and facility value. Managers were found to pursue general project objectives in their management of contingency. An aggressive strategy was found to be more robust but performed poorer than a passive strategy. Conclusions include the prevalence of trade-offs between robust and high-performance contingency management policies in construction projects and the importance of incorporating uncertainty into project planning and management.
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