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Assessing Project Implementation Risk: A Methodological Approach


  • John Anderson

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Ram Narasimhan

    (Michigan State University)


Successful implementation of OR/MS is increasingly becoming a concern of researchers and practitioners in the field. Research efforts to date have resulted in various conceptual models of the implementation process. While offering general insight, these conceptual models provide little assistance to an OR/MS implementor in managing the implementation process or more specifically assessing the nature and extent and resolving implementation problems. This paper proposes a project-risk assessment methodology which could assist the OR/MS implementor in this determination, pointing out the need for development of relevant implementation strategies directed at increasing the chances of successful implementation. Specifically, the methodology involves the use of a discriminant function to: (1) identify high, marginal, or low risk implementation situations; and (2) point out particular "risk factors" that reduce the chances of successful implementation. The paper emphasizes that knowledge of the risk factors specific to an implementation situation is essential for developing relevant strategies to mitigate their influence. It is suggested that the search for viable implementation strategies by the OR/MS implementor would lead to selective review of existing theories of implementation and their use. An illustration of the proposed methodology is provided by the development and use of a discriminant function based on case study data.

Suggested Citation

  • John Anderson & Ram Narasimhan, 1979. "Assessing Project Implementation Risk: A Methodological Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 512-521, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:25:y:1979:i:6:p:512-521

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    Cited by:

    1. John W. Boudreau, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Organizational Behavior, Strategy, Performance, and Design in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1463-1476, November.
    2. Benoit A. Aubert & Michel Patry & Suzanne Rivard, 2001. "Managing IT Outsourcing Risk: Lessons Learned," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-39, CIRANO.
    3. Jean-Grégoire Bernard & Benoit A. Aubert & Simon Bourdeau & Éric Clément & Caroline Debuissy & Marie-Josée Dumoulin & Marc Laberge & Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin & Ingrid Peignier, 2002. "Le risque : un modèle conceptuel d'intégration," CIRANO Project Reports 2002rp-16, CIRANO.
    4. Benoit A. Aubert & Michel Patry & Suzanne Rivard & Heather Smith, 2000. "IT Outsourcing Risk Management at British Petroleum," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-31, CIRANO.


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