Theory of optimisation for projects: a licensing plan for nuclear energy in South Africa as a case study
Scope: This research case study focused on identifying the benefits of introducing the criticality index concept for selection of the critical chain project management (CCPM) using Monte-Carlo simulation, i.e. Improvements in the measurement of task time and the expected project time are addressed in preference to the accuracy of estimates. This research contested the CCPM normally performed, by modelling the theory for optimisation of projects (TOP1) using nuclear case study projects of South Africa. To support the identification of the benefits of introducing the criticality index concept for selection of the CCPM, the objectives of this study were (1) to present a TOP through simulation and (2) to validate the theory through an empirical study. Approach: The experimental design was modelled on the Christensen theory-building process for development of Part 1 of the scoping review study. The theory development in Part 2 was modelled to Eisenhardt theory-building concept and validated using Pearson's Product-Moment, Spearman's Rank and Kendall's Tau Rank Correlation in the subsequent Part 3. H1: CCRCS2 task time offers a longer expected project time than the methodology based on PERT3. H1.0 is stated as: Task time for CCRCS does not offer a longer expected project time than the methodology based on PERT. H2: Implementing a methodology based on TOP will reduce the risk of the expected project time; with corresponding H2.0 that implementing a methodology based on TOP will not reduce the risk of the expected project time. H2 appraises TOP by Monte-Carlo simulation and assays its effectiveness as a supporting tool for structuring nuclear projects. The scoping review assessed the relationship between the CCRCS and PERT on the PM case study project. Inductive reasoning was achieved, and consolidated the observations, categorisation and association of the project management (PM) case study. The results deduct support for H1. The theory of optimisation for projects using simulation was developed, complying with seven basic requirements for building theory: (1) begin with a research question, (2) identify simple theory, (3) choose the simulation approach, (4) create computational representation, (5) verify computational representation, (6) experiment to build novel theory, and (7) validate with empirical data. The theory is also partly evaluated in terms of the requirements of Figure 18 - Eisenhardt Theory-Building Process. The research was further supported by three measurements to validate the time sensitivity of tasks on the expected project time by correlation to evaluate the results from applying TOP to nuclear project B. The validation process was examined to determine whether the H2 theory-building results could be correctly represented in the real life practice. The results of the experiments were compared with the task time and expected project time by correlation. The validity of simulation results increases with a higher number of simulation runs. The simulated results ended with a predefined number of runs (??=100) due to lengthy computations. For Nuclear Project B, 100 simulation runs were performed by the researcher making the total of 900 simulations. TOP: It is revealed that there is a lack of PM support to complete projects successfully in organizations. The shortcoming of project failures is problematic to the delivery of projects. The proposed TOP methodology presented in chapter 6 (Figure 83 - Proposed Theory of Optimisation for Projects), integrates different heterogeneous scenarios data sources to reduce the risk of the expected project time. The researcher performed a search in EBSCOhost and established that the hypothetical connotation proposed by the researcher in terms of the TOP methodology: If you can measure it, you can improve it was reported across only 10 source types between 2000 and 2016. Nothing was obtained by the researcher across source type underlying the field in nuclear project management. Potential Benefits from the TOP: The main benefits that the proposed TOP methodology can provide to the nuclear arena are the following: (1) delays are less likely when using the Criticality Index concept for selection of the critical chain using Monte-Carlo to manage highly uncertain tasks. The methodology will provide a unique, integrated and placid source of information, (2) complete view of heterogeneous critical task activities based on the array of information for validating the time sensitivity of tasks on the expected project time by correlation. The correlations display the degree of linear relationship between the task time and expected project time, (3) accurate information for project managers to make decisions. Using the TOP the nuclear area will be able to distinguish between the time sensitivity or insensitivity relationship between the task time and expected project time by Pearson product-moment, Spearman's rank and Kendall's tau rank that are not easily available with a simple system, and (4) ability to validate the time sensitivity of the task time on the expected project time by correlation using 50% sizing rule integrator for time sensitivity dimension. The validity of simulation results increases with a higher number of simulation runs. Potential limitations: Though there are several positive facts to adopting the TOP methodology, there are also several shortcomings. These are related to the costs of the ProTrack software system including the costs of human capital. All the information might not always be understood by project manager for decision-making. Creating access and educating several projects managers is another cost drawback for adopting the TOP methodology. Another shortcoming is that the costs to produce project schedules in a timely manner may be too expensive. The PM life cycle concept of this research study was adapted to Klein (2000). Klein's concept includes two additional phases (i.e. in which the project has to be scheduled is denoted by "S" and the project controlled is denoted by "C") (refer to Figure 8). The research study was mapped out of three (3) dimensions of scheduling dynamically, in particular: 1) complexity of project scheduling; 2) uncertainty of risk analysis; and 3) project control. When the level of uncertainty is high, the schedule of a project becomes more susceptible to change. The goal of project managers is to measure and cope with uncertainties and complexities of their projects. The current research study was further arranged around the classification of PERT/CPM, SRA, RCS and critical chain/buffer management. Originality: The goal of the research described in this thesis was to propose a TOP through simulation to the nuclear project management arena in South Africa. The latest method of developing theory (through simulation) was adapted by the researcher (refer to Figure 28 - Developing Theory Through Simulation Methods). The major result the researcher presented in this research study is a revision of the critical chain project scheduling process model by Tukel et al. (2006). The development of the TOP is data oriented and is not requirements oriented. As a result of the proposed TOP, delays are less likely when managing highly uncertain tasks. The methodology will provide a unique, integrated and placid source of information. It may provide a complete view of heterogeneous critical task activities. Accurate information for project managers to make decisions. Ability to validate the time sensitivity of the task time on the expected project time using 50% sizing rule integrator for measuring time sensitivity dimension. Project managers may now be aided to resolve resource contentions by following the researcher's 6-step critical chain project scheduling process (Figure 84 - Theory of Optimisation for Projects) to reduce the risk of the expected project time. Recommendations: The recommendations are related to the empirical findings and to the proposed TOP. Nuclear project management will gain benefits in their decision-making process if the methodology is implemented. To minimize several potential limitations, finalize the process of defining the cost of human capital. Based on the proposed TOP, the researcher suggests that access be created for users and for several users to be educated for adopting the model. The proposed model will, facilitate the decision-making process, by providing coherent data to the decision makers. Other recommendations include the definition of the supporting tool for structuring nuclear projects to be implemented and designing the data model integration process to include the 50% sizing rule integrator.
- Engineering