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Managing project risk and uncertainty:a constructively simple approach to decision making

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Rigorously grounded conceptually but developed to meet practical concerns, this book underpins and extends the scope and power of current approaches to the management of risk and uncertainty in projects and related operational and strategic management decision making. Ten tales, based on real cases, explore a range of project related problems, including: cost estimation, pricing competitive bids, risk allocation and incentive contract design, evaluation of threats and opportunities, buffer management in a supply chain, investment appraisal, portfolio management, and strategy formulation. Each tale provides practical guidance on achieving effective and efficient uncertainty management through simple analysis and discussion of emergent issues. Using a 'constructively simple' approach to model building and the associated decision support processes, the authors show the reader how to take the guesswork out of managing risk and uncertainty. Keeping formal analysis simple, without being simplistic, and adding complexity only when it facilitates additional insights, they provide a framework for 'constructive simplicity' which can be used to enhance risk and uncertainty management in any area of managerial decision making, whether in a project, operational, or strategic context. "This is not just another book about risk. Chapman and Ward focus on decision-making in a holistic way, based on the analysis of uncertainty. The concepts are illustrated by "ten tales about uncertainty management". These are short stories based on case studies in which the authors have been involved. They believe in KISS - not the usual definition but 'keep it simple systematically." —Professor Tony M. Ridley, Imperial College, London "Abundantly illustrated with case studies, this interesting book rightly highlights the need for simple, flexible models to manage risk and uncertainty. The author was associated with development of the PRAM model, which gives a rich variety of practical techniques for risk appraisal. The RAMP model provides a broad strategic framework, giving decision-makers an overall picture of the risks and rewards in a project. This book takes the discussion a stage further and provides many useful insights into the issues that arise in practice." —C G Lewin, Chairman, Risk Management Steering Group, Institute of Actuaries "This book presents a holistic and comprehensive approach to management decision making. Whilst the concepts are readily understood, they are used to provide a thorough background to the management of uncertainty. This is an invaluable book for anyone facing decision-making and uncertainty in either management or programme and project environments." —Alan R Walker, Cabinet Office, Improving Programme and Project Delivery team "Chris Chapman and Stephen Ward, through their constructively simple approach, and using Ockham's razor, show how simple models can be constructed that capture the essentials of any business and project scenario. By interpreting the problems as short stories, they are brought to life, showing that the decision is not just based on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the risk, but also on the human condition, people's motivations, right down to whether they like the cup of tea." —Rodney Turner, Director of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and Director of EuroProjex "In this well written book the reader is drawn from simple to advanced concepts of risk management by stories that reflect situations we all recognize. Chapman and Ward continually test the robustness of their conclusions by exercising the assumptions against reality and common sense, and they remind us about the importance of understanding the quality of the data being used. By the end of the book, the reader will have experienced a rather concentrated journey through many sophisticated analytical concepts and have shared in exercises in mature professional judgement. This book will well reward careful study by beginners and practitioners alike." —David T. Hulett Ph.D., Hulett & Associates LLC, Project Management Consultants "Many organizations, particularly in hi-tech businesses, are organized around a changing portfolio of projects. These can only be managed properly if there is a proper understanding of project risks and uncertainties and, sadly, this is an area in which there is considerable room for improvement. Chapman and Ward's book has a pleasing blend of quantitative and qualitative insights and will help train a generation of managers who are better equipped to manage successful projects." —Mike Pidd, Professor of Management Science, Lancaster University

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