Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Projects as Dynamic, Multi-level temporary Organizations: Advantages of an Agent-Based Modeling Approach

Bianica Pires
Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, Arlington, VA, USA United States
Darli Rodrigues Vieira
University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Canada


Projects are complex systems. They are dynamic, uncertain, heterogeneous entities embedded within social, organizational, and broader contexts. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational method that allows for the modeling of autonomous, heterogeneous, and interacting agents in a multi-level system. The re-conceptualized view of projects discussed in the literature supports the notion of projects as dynamic, multi-level temporary organizations. Through this lens, we argue that an ABM approach provides key advantages for understanding and exploring relevant topics in project management. The features that make temporary organizations challenging to understand and explore, including temporality, behavioral considerations, and embeddedness, are also areas where ABM could prove advantageous. We also address the difficulties associated with using ABM in this context and do not claim that ABM is the only method for addressing these challenges. The goal of this paper is to provide a computational perspective from which to think about and further explore research in project management.

Keywords: Agent-Based Modeling, Project Management, temporary Organizations and complex Systems.



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