Analysis of the characteristics of projects in diverse industries

Oya Icmeli Tukel, Walter O. Rom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Solution procedures for resource-constrained project scheduling problems are usually validated using simulated data. In many cases, however, a technique that provides quality schedules for simulated data performs poorly on actual projects, because the simulated data might not reflect all the characteristics of real projects. Furthermore, projects in various industries might possess different characteristics. In this paper, we analyze the responses to an empirical study of project managers. The survey was conducted nationwide, and was designed to identify and categorize characteristics of projects in various industries as well as performance measures and constraints. A variety of statistical techniques are used to describe project profiles, ranging from simple descriptive statistics to multivariate analysis. The results demonstrate that while many common project characteristics exist, there are noticeable differences in projects across industries. Some unexpected results are discovered, especially related to project managers' objectives and the constraints they are subject to in establishing schedules. For example, for many project managers, maximizing project quality is more important than other scheduling objectives examined in the literature. Furthermore, results show that project managers are constrained by the availability of labor resources more often than other types of constraints, such as budget or raw materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-61
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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