Leverage Points and Scenario Analysis

A large Turkish construction company was concerned with how to estimate the time and resources that some of its large-scale projects would take, but this was a difficult task and often projects would wind up late and over budget. To correctly estimate time and resource requirements is difficult. For instance, if they were building a 100-mile long pipeline, not only did they need a hundred miles of pipe, but also they need a hundred miles of pipe of the right type, whether it is T-intersections, elbow joints, or straight pipe. Not only that but the pipe had to be in the right place at the right time with the right people there to assemble it. Traditional project management tools did not allow them to take all of these constraints into account. However, using agent-based modeling, and building upon traditional project management research, we can construct models of large-scale projects like the pipeline and by analyzing the results of many runs of these simulations, we can identify key junctures in these projects, places where the project can go horribly wrong, or wonderfully right. By identifying these “leverage points” we can better anticipate the needs and demands of any particular project.