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Exploiting opportunities in the Uncertainty management

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Exploiting opportunities in the Uncertainty management

Authors: Hans Petter Krane, Agnar Johansen, Ragnhild Alstad.

Presented at the 27th IPMA World Congress 2013, Dubrovnik, Croatia.


In uncertainty management - in Norway as in many other countries - uncertainty analyses are used to get answers to questions about expected total costs and expected final delivery date for a project. Uncertainty management should include both possible threats and opportunities - this is claimed to be the common view among both practitioners and academics. However, it is questioned whether uncertainty analyses and uncertainty management is still focusing mainly on threats, and too little seeking to exploit opportunities. If this is the case, then the projects will only to a small extent achieve the benefits they can achieve from those opportunities. In the paper we study how the projects are actually exploiting opportunities. This is done through two larger longitudinal case studies, each of them looking into six projects. Each of the case studies looked at the management of the projects' uncertainties over time - from concept development through design and execution to hand-over. In the studies we use combined qualitative/quantitative methods, with interviews and analyses of the projects' risk registers as two of the main elements. The results from those analyses are used to reflect on the current practice within uncertainty management, and some possible strategies for a better exploitation of the projects' opportunities are pointed out.