Examining the Value of Monte Carlo Simulation for Project Time Management
Research Question: This paper investigates whether the Monte Carlo simulation can be widely used as a practicable method for the analysis of the risks that impact project duration. Motivation: The main goal was to explore the use of the Monte Carlo simulation for project time management, and shed some light on the key benefits and drawbacks of this method. The paper reviewed the existing literature considering traditional use of the Monte Carlo for quantitative project risk analysis (such as Kwak & Ingall, 2007; Hulett, 2017) and elaborated the issue by suggesting potential improvements in terms of method modification for schedule management, such as event chain methodology proposed by Agarwal & Virine (2017). Another goal was to examine the capability of user-friendly software to provide project managers with some of these benefits. Idea: The core idea of this paper was to evaluate the value of the Monte Carlo method for project time and schedule management, by matching traditional foundations with modern techniques. Data: The paper used the secondary data extracted from relevant literature and project examples. A literature review reveals how the application of the Monte Carlo simulation evolved as a project management tool, along with specific benefits and concerns for its application. Tools: A detailed application of the Monte Carlo in predicting project duration is provided, and the applicability and viability of the method are proven through a case demonstration. Following the presentation of a practical example and discussion of the main features, some limitations and potential improvements to the Monte Carlo method are suggested. Findings: Even with the existence of certain limitations, the Monte Carlo simulation remains the primary method for quantitative analysis of project risks. Despite the Monte Carlo having been found to be applicable, adaptable and predictive of total project duration, it is found to be insufficiently used by practitioners. Contribution: The paper urges the need for research on successful diffusion of the Monte Carlo simulation and helps practitioners to understand the adaptability of the Monte Carlo simulation as a tool for risk quantification and its use for effective duration planning of their projects.
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