Modeling project complexity

Hannah Wood, Philip Ashton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


It is a common statement that the construction process is one of the most complex and risky businesses undertaken, however it has also been suggested that the construction industry has developed great difficulty in coping with the increasing complexity of major construction projects. Therefore an understanding of project complexity and how it might be managed is of significant importance for achieving success for all of the parties involved. The aim of this paper is to present the final stage of a global research project, the aim of which was to develop a model that could be used to evaluate the effects of project complexity at the pre construction stage in order to improve project planning. A number of methods have been used throughout the research process, interviews and questionnaires were used to identify the factors of project complexity, case studies were then analysed to establish the frequency and impact of the individual factors. Finally the information was modelled in order to provide a project complexity measurement and evaluation method and further case studies were used to test the model. Although a number of systems already exist to evaluate construction projects such as risk assessment methods, no system designed specifically to measure and evaluate the complexity of a project at the pre construction stage exists. The uptake and use of some software packages can be poor in the construction industry; therefore the model was designed specifically to be used by construction contractors when planning a project. Further developments are recommended in order to incorporate the system with other existing evaluation methods to make a complete project evaluation package.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference
Place of PublicationLeeds, UK
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780955239045
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
EventProceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference - Leeds, UK, 6-8 September 2010
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


ConferenceProceedings 26th Annual ARCOM Conference
Period1/01/10 → …


  • complexity
  • modelling
  • measuring complexity
  • evaluating construction projects


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