The Use of a Multiple Risk Level Model to Tackle the Duration of Risk for Construction Activity

  • Hsien-Kuan Chang
  • Wen-der YuEmail author
  • Shao-Tsai Cheng
  • Tao-Ming Cheng
Construction Management


The project evaluation and review technique (PERT) is the most well-known method to handle the risk due to uncertain activity durations, previous studies show that the β-distribution-based PERT estimation tends to be over-optimistic and it offers no control of the project in terms of risk duration. This study proposes a multiple risk-level (MRL) model that uses a site spatial constraint, environmental effects and the “5 Ms” of construction management to tackle the duration of risk during a construction project. A Risk-based Critical Path Scheduling Method (R-CPSM) that uses MRL is developed to calculate the duration of the project. A case study using a project selected from a previous study is used to compare the four estimation methods: two traditional PERT methods (3.2σs and 6σs), a Monte Carlo Simulation and the proposed MRL model. The results show that, compared with traditional approaches to estimate durations of uncertain activity, the proposed R-CPSM method is more systematic that can be combined with a cost estimation process and offers a rectification mechanism that dynamically monitors and adjusts the important factors that affect the risk duration. This method gives a more realistic estimate that is in agreement with the results of previous studies.


PERT duration of risk project scheduling critical path method risk breakdown structure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AbouRizk, S. M., Halpin, D. W., and Wilson, J. R. (1991). “Visual interactive fitting of beta distributions.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 117, No. 4, pp. 589–605, DOI: Scholar
  2. Ahuja N., Dozzi, S., and AbouRizk, S. (1994). Project management: Techniques in planning and controlling construction projects, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, USA.Google Scholar
  3. Ahuja, H. N. and Nandakumar V. (1985). “Simulation model to forecast project completion time.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 111, No. 4, pp. 325–342, DOI: Scholar
  4. Clark, C. E. (1962). “The PERT model for the distribution of an activity time.” Operations Research, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 405–406, DOI: Scholar
  5. Cottrell, W. D. (1999). “Simplified project evaluation and review technique (PERT).” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 125, No. 1, pp. 16–22, DOI: Scholar
  6. Dodge (2017). Dodge estimating guide, Dodge Corporate, New York, NY, USA, [Accessed on June, 2017].Google Scholar
  7. Hahn, E. D. (2008). “Mixture densities for project management activity times: A robust approach to PERT.” European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 188, No. 2, pp. 450–459, DOI: Scholar
  8. Hajdu, M. and Bokor, O. (2016). “Sensitivity analysis in PERT networks: Does activity duration distribution matter?” Automation in Construction, Vol. 65, pp. 1–8, DOI: Scholar
  9. Halpin, D. W., and Woodhead, R. W. (1980). Construction management, John Wiley, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  10. Kılıç, M., Ulusoy, G., and Şerifoǧlu, F. S. (2008). “A bi-objective genetic algorithm approach to risk mitigation in project scheduling.” International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 112, No. 1, pp. 202–216, DOI: Scholar
  11. Malcolm, D. G., Roseboom, J. H., Clark, C. E., and Fazar, W. (1959). “Application of a technique for a research and development program evaluation.” Operations Research, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp. 557–685, DOI: Scholar
  12. Meredith, J. R. and Mantel, S. J. (1989). Project management: A managerial approach, 2nd Ed., Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  13. Mohan, S., Gopalakrishnan, M., Balasubramanian, H., and Chandrashekar, A. (2007). “A lognormal approximation of activity duration in PERT using two time estimates.” Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 58, No. 6, pp. 827–831, DOI: Scholar
  14. Nasir, D., McCabe, B., and Hartono, L. (2003). “Evaluating risk in construction-schedule model (ERIC-S): Construction schedule risk model.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 129, No. 5, pp. 518–527, DOI: Scholar
  15. Ökmen, Ö. and Öztaş, A. (2008). “Construction project network evaluation with correlated schedule risk analysis model.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 134, No. 1, pp. 49–63, DOI: Scholar
  16. Pearson, E. S. and Tukey, J. W. (1965). “Approximate means and standard deviations based on distances between percentage points of frequency curves.” Biometrika, Vol. 52, Nos. 3–4, pp. 533–546, DOI: Scholar
  17. Public Works Department (2018). Unit price analysis manual, 4th Ed., Public Works Department, Taipei City Government, Taiwan, [Accessed on May, 2018].Google Scholar
  18. RS Means (2017). RS Means book, RSMeans, Rockland, MA, USA, [Accessed on June, 2017].Google Scholar
  19. Sasieni, M. W. (1986). “A note on PERT times.” Management Science, Vol. 32, No. 12, pp. 405–406, DOI: Scholar
  20. Trietsch, D., Mazmanyan, L., Gevorgyan, L., and Baker, K. R. (2012). “Modeling activity times by the Parkinson distribution with a lognormal core: Theory and validation.” European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 216, No. 2, pp. 386–396, DOI: Scholar
  21. Wang, W. C. (2005). “Impact of soft logic on the probabilistic duration of construction projects.” International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 23, No. 8, pp. 600–610, DOI: Scholar
  22. Wang, W. C. and Demsetz, L. A. (2000). “Application example for evaluating networks considering correlation.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 126, No. 6, pp. 467–474, DOI: Scholar
  23. Watson, C. J., Billingsley, P., Croft, D. J., and Huntsberger, D. V. (1993). Statistics for management and economics, 5th Ed., Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA, USA.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  24. Woolery, J. C. and Crandall K. C. (1983). “Stochastic network model for planning scheduling.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 109, No. 3, pp. 342–354, DOI: Scholar
  25. Yi, K. J. and Langford, D. (2006). “Scheduling-based risk estimation and safety planning for construction projects.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, Vol. 132, No. 6, pp. 626–635, DOI: Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Civil Engineers 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hsien-Kuan Chang
    • 1
  • Wen-der Yu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shao-Tsai Cheng
    • 2
  • Tao-Ming Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Construction EngineeringChaoyang University of TechnologyTaichungTaiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.Dept. of Construction ManagementChung Hua UniversityHsinchuTaiwan, Republic of China

Personalised recommendations