Complexity measurement of a project activity

Sanjeev Sinha, Bimal Kumar, Avril Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Project managers very often describe their projects as simple or complex when discussing management issues. This indicates a practical acceptance that complexity makes a difference to the management of projects. The purpose of this paper is to propose a worker's skill-based metric for the complexity of a construction project activity using the concepts of functional decomposition and validate it. Based on a sample of 13 project activities from two construction projects, the empirical validation of the proposed metric using Spearman rank order coefficient exhibited a strong correlation between complexity of a project activity (CPA) and its completion time. The contribution of this paper is in identifying the influence of the skill of the worker(s) on the complexity of the project activity and as a support to project manager's intuitive understanding about the CPA. Moreover, the findings are applicable in assigning worker(s) to different project activities, based on their complexities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432 - 448
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Information processed
  • complexity generating factors
  • human resources
  • decision making
  • complexity measurement
  • dimensional decomposition


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