Risk factor prioritization in infrastructure handover to operations

Thiago de Almeida Rodrigues, Udechukwu Ojiako, Alasdair Marshall, Caroline Maria de Miranda Mota, Fikri T. Dweiri, Maxwell Chipulu, Lavagnon Ika, Eman Jasim Hussain AlRaeesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Worldwide, there are numerous reports of major infrastructure projects failing at handover to the operations phase following completion of the project development and delivery phase. While poor risk identification and prioritization has been identified as one of the causes of this failure, we know little about the specific risk factors project beneficiaries consider most important at this point of handover. With these issues in mind, we draw on a survey of key dry port project beneficiaries in Brazil to examine and prioritize the risks considered most important at handover to operations. Paying particular attention to project beneficiary heterogeneity and incongruence, we find eight key risk factors – ‘Cost’, ‘Location’, ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Operational’, ‘Economic’, ‘Political and social’, and ‘Environment’ that warrant emphasis. We reveal congruence among some project beneficiaries in terms of prioritization. We also find variations in handover to operations risks based on project characteristics. However, these characteristics appear to have very limited impact on prioritization. Our findings further point to risk blind spots at critical moments of project handover to operations. Overall, this paper contributes to project risk management/prioritization literature in the context of handover to operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102558
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number1
Early online date30 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • handover to operations
  • infrastructure
  • operations
  • prioritization
  • projects
  • risks


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