IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Parallel Strategies in Development Projects

Listed author(s):
  • William J. Abernathy

    (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

  • Richard S. Rosenbloom

    (Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University)

Registered author(s):

    It is common in R & D to identify and explore several approaches to a particular objective so that the best approach may be chosen. The outcome of any approach is uncertain; hence, it is difficult to choose the best one at an early date. To deal with this uncertainty, two or more approaches to the objective may be continued in parallel until a clear choice can be made, i.e., a parallel strategy. Such a strategy can provide better information for a decision, maintain options, or hedge against the occurrence of an unsatisfactory outcome. This report addresses the project manager's problem of deciding when to use or continue a parallel strategy. It reports the results of studies of actual projects and of a digital simulation analysis of a model appropriate to the structure of the decision as it is faced in practice. It identifies the information requirements for a sound choice between parallel and sequential strategies and the consequence of choosing a strategy on the basis of incomplete information. The report demonstrates the feasibility of collecting the requisite economic data in actual projects and suggests that it is costly for project managers to ignore such data.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 15 (1969)
    Issue (Month): 10 (June)
    Pages: 486-505

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:15:y:1969:i:10:p:b486-b505
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:15:y:1969:i:10:p:b486-b505. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.